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The following sections remain to be filed into appropriate areas in Issuepedia. --Woozle 21:43, 25 August 2006 (EDT)

Adelphi Charter

The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property responds to one of the most profound challenges of the 21st century: How to ensure that everyone has access to ideas and knowledge, and that intellectual property laws do not become too restrictive.

The Charter sets out new principles for copyrights and patents, and calls on governments to apply a new public interest test.

It promotes a new, fair, user-friendly and efficient way of handing out intellectual property rights in the 21st century.

The Charter has been written by an international group of artists, scientists, lawyers, politicians, economists, academics and business experts.

Fair use and fair dealing

Fair use and fair dealing are the basic digital access rights with information which a person can expect to be able to apply. In the past the fair use or fair dealing system has been the constant, with specific exceptions for copyright of material. Fair Use/Dealing and Copyright are the two halves of the traditional access v protection model.

Many changes have impacted on digital access rights including the development of alternatives to the traditional copyright license such as Creative Commons. The Creative Commons license effectively broadens the base of what is possible as a fair use by specifying customised extra access rights which a person can apply with Cc licensed material.

The open source licenses such as GNU GPL are also a way of relaxing the copyright control of the copyright holder in specified ways to enable the public to have improved digital access rights.

DMCA operates differently. While traditional copyright oerates as an exception to basic freedoms, DMCA and DRM operate as a new default way of interacting with material. Interested groups have been invited to ask for exemptions for specific fair use. The fair use allowances are being contracted further by each successive iteration of the DMCA legislation. In addition specific technologies such as e-book ban activities which were normally seen as a fair use on specific books, ie for some books it is not allowed to read the book aloud. Lending, sharing and other activities normally legal with paperbooks are not always legal with digital books.

Communities have not had to negotiate for fair use previously it is taking time for the implications of negotiating for specific fair uses to be understood.



The goals of Access to Knowledge are embodied in a draft treaty, emerging from a call from Brazil and Argentina for a development agenda for the World Intellectual Property Organization. The treaty is intended to ease the transfer of knowledge to developing nations, and to secure the viability of open innovation systems all over the world.

Open Source Licences

Creative Commons

The Creative Commons website enables copyright holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others through a variety of licensing and contract schemes including dedication to the public domain or open content licensing terms. The intention is to avoid the problems current copyright laws create for the sharing of information. -


This word has always been used fairly randomly to represent a kind of theft. For purposes of digital or intellectual property it is used to describe four main situations:

  • a home user working with material in a way which is not licensed.
  • a trader of material who is not licenced to trade that material.
  • a political party representing consumers who feel that the overall copyright system is broken.
  • some view the offensive(ie not defensive) copyright laws as a kind of piracy.

What is theft

With information there is a debate about whether information can be stolen as both groups still end up with the information. This quote from Thomas Jefferson represents that perspective:

"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."IP FAQs

However one can also equate copyright infringement as invasion of privacy, like publishing another's credit card number or phone number, without permission, in public. Copyright can be used to protect authors from plagiarism, and to ensure authors, musicians, scientists gain income and recognition for work they have created. Copyright cases are often based around potential loss of income as a result.


  • origins
  • recent
  • regional
  • current - POV: Patents on medical research. South Africa is not a party to the DMCA because people are dying of AIDS while patent groups shut down generic drug companies in India which were able to provide medicine at a cost African people could afford.


Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted by governments to regulate the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. At its most general, it is literally "the right to copy" an original creation. In most cases, these rights are of limited duration. The symbol for copyright is ©, and in some jurisdictions may alternately be written (c).

The major change which is contentious and relevant to is that there has been a broad shift from defensive copyright policy to offensive copyright policy. This means that fair use and fair dealing are now required to apply to be exempted from a copyright state, where as previously copyright was seen as an exception or special case to a default set of access rights. The new DMCA Digital Millenium Copyright Act also allows, through use of TPM's the copyright holder to limit other technologies which interact with the copyrighted product. This is seen, by groups wanting reform, as putting a fence around other people's copyright and freedoms rather than being a defense of the copyrighted content only.

DRM and the DMCA

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a system, usually involving encryption, designed to prevent unauthorized used of content. Examples of DRM include the CSS encryption found in nearly all commercial DVD movies, and Apple's FairPlay encryption found in music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Use of these DRM schemes are mandated by movie studios and record labels (respectively) to prevent copyright infringement, but they also prevent non-infringing uses such as making backup copies of DVDs and playing iTunes music on non-Apple portable devices.

The concept of DRM is fundamentally flawed, because software and devices used for authorized playback of media need to contain all of the information needed to decrypt that media, making it relatively easy to defeat. Jon Johansen has cracked several of these systems, earning himself the nickname "DVD Jon". Instead of coming up with a better system, proponents of DRM convince governments to enact Digital Millennium Copyright Acts, which among other things, make it illegal to crack DRM, explain how to crack it, or to make or distribute tools to do so. This use of weak protection compensated-for by legal threats only serves to ensure that hones people with no interest in copyright infringement must either put up with crippled functionality or become criminals, while there is little to deter others from pirating content or otherwise infringing upon copyrights.

1/3 of DMCA complaints don't hold up under scrutiny, and 1/2 are filed by companies against competitors. People tend to err on the side of taking down infringing material rather than face lawsuits:

Broadcast flag


Technological protection measures are any kind of barrier between the user and the copyright material. Anything which has a call response to any other thing, has an interface. These interfaces are becoming a part of the copyright issue as distributors are building packaging for their content which uses TPM locks so that it can be difficult to interface with the material. These digital locks have been developed by copyright holders or distributors to manage how the user/owner/developer/inventor interacts with the material. TPMs have caused a large part of the concern because:

  • It means that the purchase of a digital information product is now a lease on that product for the amount of time and for the specific purposes permitted by the TPM.
  • A TPM has to assume to lock you out of material, ie no fair use, until you prove you are a current customer with permission to do what you want to do. This has proven to be a problem for example when people upgrade their computers and the TPM thinks it is not the same customer.
  • TPMs enable a software to be black boxed so you can't see if it has spyware included, or incldues someone elses copyright material, or to see if it needs improvement if there is a bug. ie They provide privacy for the publisher but not for the owner of the computer, as both of the monitoring systems installed by Sony and MS were specifically intended to report back to the parent companies about the customer's use of their computer.
  • The exemptions for when it is permissable to work around a TPM are contracting with each iteration of the DMCA act. A request to have an exemption for risk to critical systems and loss of life is being contested by the DMCA lobby in the current round.

Technologies impacted by DRM

  • Any technology which has a call response to another technology can be 'protected' with a TPM. (Printer cartridges, car ignitions)
  • Any technology which could be used for an illegal purpose but does not have a large commercial base can be considered a circumvention device.
  • These laws are being used to threaten/sue people who develop technologies, because other people found an illegal use for them.
  • Technologies which help to format shift or to communicate between different systems, or to share files between people are being targeted.(file sharing, bitstream, I2P, Tor, font embedding, sound mixing)
  • Any networking technology that interacts with a copyrighted system could be blocked from being developed or sued for being used. (Samba, any mixed platform environment)
  • Black boxing of critical systems so that the owner cant see what's inside (Sony's DVD, MS WGA, Digital voting, Power station monitoring, economic or environmental modelling
  • Strong encryption



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