European Commission Unveils Plans For Digital Single Market

digital-single-market lights

Today, the European Commission released details about its plans to create a Digital Single Market, with a set of actions to be delivered by the end of next year. The plan includes a competition inquiry of the European e-commerce sector launched today, and a commitment to change the European copyright law starting this year.

Dissecting The “Internet Freedom” Agenda

Real Cyber War cover

Both radical civil society organizations and mainstream defenders of the status quo agree that the free and open internet is threatened: see for example the Delhi Declaration, Bob Hinden’s 2014 Year End Thoughts, and Kathy Brown’s March 2015 statement at a UNESCO conference. The threats include government censorship and mass surveillance, but also the failure of governments to control rampant industry concentration and commercial exploitation of personal data, which increasingly takes the form of providing “free” services in exchange for personal information that is resold at a profit, or used to provide targeted advertising, also at a profit, Richard Hill writes in a review of the new book, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom.

EU Trade Commissioner New Paper On Investor-State Disputes In TTIP

Malmstrom shot

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström published a concept paper on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms to be included in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Philanthropies And Expression: An Interview With Ford Foundation President Darren Walker

Darren Walker

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, one of the largest and historically most influential private philanthropies in the United States, dedicated to human welfare worldwide. Among its areas of focus are programs on freedom of expression and internet rights, extremely timely given current national and global events. Ford, along with four other leading foundations, and leaders from government, business and the technology community recently announced NetGain, a partnership to “spark the next generation of innovation for social change and progress.” Intellectual Property Watch’s William New recently interviewed Darren Walker on his vision for the foundation, internet governance, and the world at large.

A Cautious Welcome For South Africa’s Traditional Knowledge Legislation

So Africa indig knowledge

South Africa’s new indigenous knowledge systems legislation is being cautiously welcomed by commentators, expressing both hopes and concerns. And some are tying it to other intellectual property legislation in the country.

Positive Note For WIPO Committee On IP And Development, Some Issues Remain

WIPO - Catherine Saez (3)

At the close of the session of the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) last week, delegates left on a positive note. Despite not achieving concrete results on several issues, the meeting was described as encouraging by some participants. Technical assistance remained one of the prickly issues, as well as the mechanism for WIPO committees to report on their implementation of the Development Agenda.

Seminar Discusses Global Value Chains And Development

value chains

Participation in global value chains contributes to economic growth, while trade and trade-related policies, such as foreign direct investment, intellectual property protection, trade facilitation, infrastructure and institutions, together with deeper regional integration have important impacts on global value chain integration in developing countries. This was the view of speakers at a recent event in Geneva.

Largest Internet Exchange Point Announces Complaint Against Snooping

mass surveillance eye

MUNICH – It was a big day for counter-surveillance yesterday. Decix, the largest internet traffic exchange point (IXP) worldwide, announced it has had it with the snoops. Meanwhile, the Inquiry Committee came to the conclusion that the BND had withheld information from its oversight bodies on how broad the tapping really was. Separately, a two-part report presented to the LIBE Committee of the Parliament in Brussels focused on potential countermeasures to the “fact” of mass surveillance by intelligence agencies. And a resolution on mass surveillance was passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE).

Divide And Conquer: The New US Strategy To Disentangle The TPP Negotiations

Public Citizen TPP ISDS

Burcu Kilic & Pablo Viollier write: Political leaders in Washington and other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating countries have set the end of May as the latest deadline for completion of the talks. The negotiations have already missed several such deadlines, so who really knows? No one. But there is something we all know: TPP raises significant concerns because negotiations are being held behind closed doors with details kept secret even from the legislatures in TPP countries.

UN Expert Says Secret Trade Negotiations A Threat To Human Rights

tpp tape across mouth

The United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order raised concerns over the lack of awareness about the negative effects that free trade and investment agreements have on human rights, especially in developing countries. The Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de […]