SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Subscribing entitles a reader to complete stories on all topics released as they happen, special features, confidential documents and access to the complete, searchable story archive online back to 2004.
IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

Inside Views

Submit ideas to info [at] ip-watch [dot] ch!

We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

Internet Governance And Celestial Mechanics

At a recent meeting of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), a Cuban expert offered a humorous – but at the same time serious – vision of global internet governance. Below are his remarks.


Latest Comments
  • CALLING FOR UPOV -2014 TO ADDRESS AFRICAN FARMERS... »
  • One can expect significant opposition to the proop... »

  • For IPW Subscribers

    A directory of IP delegates in Geneva. Read more>

    A guide to Geneva-based public health and intellectual property organisations. Read More >


    Monthly Reporter

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter, published from 2004 to January 2011, is a 16-page monthly selection of the most important, updated stories and features, plus the People and News Briefs columns.

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter is available in an online archive on the IP-Watch website, available for IP-Watch Subscribers.

    Access the Monthly Reporter Archive >

    A Battle For Open Public Data In South Africa

    Published on 8 May 2013 @ 1:17 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    Cape Town, South Africa – Amid growing calls for the controversial Protection of State Information bill to be referred to the Constitutional Court of South Africa, open data activists are fighting a separate but related battle for government to release its data to the public.

    Critics of the bill, popularly referred to as the secrecy bill, fear it will be used to persecute whistleblowers and stifle press freedom. The bill was passed by a majority vote in Parliament on 25 April and now needs to be signed by President Jacob Zuma in order for it to become law.

    It is against this backdrop and the debate about information control that data activists are turning up the volume on their demands for government and publicly funded institutions to release data. Activists and others argue that to do so will increase transparency and is the impetus for building free and commercial information products that can aid decision-making.

    Open Data and Democracy Initiative co-founder Adi Eyal has been making several considered and deliberate requests to various government departments for data and monitoring their responses, if he gets a response at all.

    “Data is not easily available,” he said. “In most cases, government has not been explicitly reluctant to release data but it’s not clear how to access it. Licences are unclear and often very restrictive. Data should be licensed under open licences and commercial use would be allowed, why not?”

    Open data, it appears, has not entered the realm of debate within government.

    CEO of the Government Communication Information Service (GCIS) Phumla Williams said in a written response: “I could not establish any guidelines from the Department of Public Service and Administration – the custodians of this area in government – on how departments should handle requests for information that may be re-used for commercial purposes. Therefore, I cannot comment on the discretionary approach taken by different departments.”

    The government has offered the promotion of access to information act (PAIA) as an avenue for any citizen to approach a government department for information. The piece of legislation gives effect to the constitutional right of access to information held by the state as well as information held by someone else.

    Eyal said: “Without PAIA there is no clear process for how data can be obtained and PAIA requests are often ignored. Also data requests are sometimes dealt with suspicion.”

    Currently, Statistics SA and the Independent Electoral Commission are the best known publicly funded organisations that release data regularly. The South African Police Service releases its crime statistics once a year.
    Despite the paucity of available data from government, open data activists such as Eyal are choosing a less aggressive approach in trying to convince government why releasing data can be to it and the public’s benefit.

    Eyal explained: “Open data has not yet permeated into the mindset of government, which is why civil society needs to push the issue. Antagonism is not the approach we should take…. I think we should lead through example, developing useful applications that demonstrate the utility of what data and government cooperation with civil society can achieve.”

    Linda Daniels may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Intersect Alert May 12, 2013 | SLA San Francisco Bay Region Chapter says:

      [...] A Battle For Open Public Data In South Africa “Amid growing calls for the controversial Protection of State Information bill to be referred to the Constitutional Court of South Africa, open data activists are fighting a separate but related battle for government to release its data to the public.  Critics of the bill, popularly referred to as the secrecy bill, fear it will be used to persecute whistleblowers and stifle press freedom. The bill was passed by a majority vote in Parliament on 25 April and now needs to be signed by President Jacob Zuma in order for it to become law.  It is against this backdrop and the debate about information control that data activists are turning up the volume on their demands for government and publicly funded institutions to release data. Activists and others argue that to do so will increase transparency and is the impetus for building free and commercial information products that can aid decision-making.” http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/05/08/a-battle-for-open-public-data-in-south-africa/ [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
    Your IP address is 50.17.21.7