A2K Standards Proposed For UN Consumer Guidelines
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch on 01/06/2011 @ 11:48 pm
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch
Consumers International today invited comments and proposals for a set of proposed amendments to include access to knowledge standards in the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.
The draft provisions on A2K standards  include obligations for governments to care for universal access to the internet, de-criminalisation of private copying, derivative works and possession of copyright-infringing works in non-commercial quantities.
Suspensions or terminations to internet access as a sanction would be banned as access to knowledge via the network would be accepted as fundamental and a precondition for consumers’ full participation in cultural, civic and educational affairs.
The guidelines also seek to oblige governments to promote a rich public domain, grant users the right to circumvent DRM in certain instances and restrict suppliers of digital products and services from employing technologies that have the effect of preventing consumers from using those products in ways that would otherwise be reasonable and safe. The 25-year-old guidelines were last updated in 1999 to include sustainable consumption.
For the 1999 review, CI was mandated by the UN to develop proposals to be approved by governments after expert review, but this time CI is “doing things the other way round,” said Jeremy Malcolm, project coordinator at CI. “We are initiating the development of proposed amendments before receiving an intergovernmental mandate to do so.”
CI was in close contact with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Malcolm said. While a new revision of the guidelines is not binding for governments, it would provide an “influential standard for the dissemination of best practices in consumer protection, as a mechanism to foster and promote social and economic development,” CI said. CI hopes that interested governments will help to push the revision of the guidelines. The proposal is open for comment until 31 August.
Article printed from Intellectual Property Watch: http://www.ip-watch.org
URL to article: http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/06/01/a2k-standards-proposed-for-un-consumer-guidelines/
URLs in this post:
 draft provisions on A2K standards: http://a2knetwork.org/guidelines/
 ITU Undertakes Work On Standards Essential Patents: http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/10/12/itu-undertakes-work-on-standard-essential-patents/