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    Infojustice.org: UN Consumer Guidelines Could Be Updated For Digital Rights, A2K

    Published on 26 June 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    Jeremy Malcolm of Consumers International has posted to Infojustice.org:

    “Over the last three years a global network of consumer activists has been crafting a set of amendments to an influential global instrument, the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, that could provide a powerful global standard for digital rights and access to knowledge.

    Amongst the best practices for consumers that the amended Guidelines would enshrine are:

    • Ensuring that equivalent consumer protection mechanisms apply no matter whether products or services are delivered online or offline, and whether or not they are supplied in a digital format, so that for example the consumers of digital content products such as e-books are treated on a level footing to consumers of equivalent analogue products such as printed books.
    • Requiring that suppliers of such digital content products inform consumers of the effect of any applicable technical protection measures (sometimes called “digital locks”) or interoperability limitations that could impede the consumer from using them, and not allowing such technological mechanisms to unreasonably limit the ways in which consumers can use such products.
    • Prohibiting suppliers from using unnecessarily long and complex standard contractual terms of service to take away consumers’ rights, and ensuring that consumers maintain control over content that is hosted for them online, without sacrificing their privacy.

    Last year, we scored a magnificent victory, when the United Nations body with responsibility for the Guidelines, UNCTAD, agreed to their review, and set a date – July 11 and 12 this year – at which to consider proposed amendments. Consumers International was specifically mentioned as one of the bodies whose recommendations would be considered.

    But at the last moment, our efforts towards improving standards of protection for digital consumers and fighting against corporate practices that that abuse their rights, could all be for nothing.

    Why? Because the UNCTAD secretariat has signalled that it only wants to see two areas of amendment dealt with in this round of amendments – financial services and e-commerce. Whilst both of those areas are important, there are many other areas like access to knowledge that we feel are just as important. With an average of 15 years between each revision of the Guidelines, we don’t want to have to wait that long again before we have another chance to bring the Guidelines properly up to date.”

    [Note: UNCTAD is the UN Conference on Trade and Development, in Geneva]

    The full post is available here.

     


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    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.

     

     
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