intellectual property rights

Copyright and the digital divide

Sonia Randhawa on 5 Jul 2012
It's day two of the 'Informal' Asia Europe Foundation meeting on human rights and ICTs, and we're split up into workshops to discuss recommendations that will go to the Foundation's ministerial meeting in November: I'm in the workshop on digital divide. While a lot of interesting ideas came up during the course of the day, the one which causes me most concern is the problem of knowledge that is being locked away, often without reason.

Internet governance: If we are not at the table, we will be on the menu

Jan Moolman on 16 May 2012
In 2001, while working at Agenda, a South African feminist academic journal, we produced an edition titled ‘Globalisation: challenging dominant discourses’. The journal problematised the realpolitik of a global neo-liberal economic system that was marked by developing countries’ indebtedness, the rise of the market and the devastating consequences of structural adjustment policies for women of the global South. A quote from Vivienne Taylor, from DAWN – Development Alternatives for Women in a New Era who contributed to that edition – stayed with me. She wrote: “In this era of globalization there have been more rules, standards, policies and institutions for open global markets than for people and their rights”...

Bargain basement shopping in the information society

erika on 15 May 2012
When I saw this quote on Mozilla's new Collusion website: "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold - Andrew Lewis." I felt it summed up the economics tool box session on Commodification of Knowledge that APC led at the 2012 AWID Forum quite nicely. The session, organised by APC, brought together speakers to spark debate and reflection, but the audience vibrated with insights and was full of feminists eager to deepen discussion on the commodification of knowledge.

EROTICS: Sex, rights and the internet - an exploratory research study

Jac sm Kee on 9 Aug 2011
How is the internet a key public sphere for the struggle for sexual citizenship and the exercise of sexual rights? What is its value to a diversity of users, especially those most marginalised or discriminated against because of their sexual, gender or other forms of social identity? Why do arguments for the regulation of the internet anchor on the moral imperative to regulate sexuality? Who are the key actors influencing processes of decision making, and what are the ways in which the potentially liberatory impact of the internet is being constricted and narrowed? The 3 year EROTICS research project delves into the complex world of sexuality and internet regulation, and uncovers interesting insights to these questions from Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the US. The full research findings and a synthesis chapter is presented in this report.

UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and the Internet

Kateřina Fialová on 25 May 2011
The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression's report explores key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the internet. The Report underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet but also outlines the growing global trend of restricting freedom of expression and association online.

Mexico: ACTA - anyone making a fuss in your country?

erika on 12 Jul 2010
Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America are presently negotiating a trade agreement regarding counterfeiting and the enforcement of intellectual property rights, known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Erika Smith, communications coordinator of APC WNSP, took part in the meeting organized by the Internet Society (ISOC) Mexico to find out how ACTA can affect laws or upcoming bills that attempt to address other aspects of cybercrime, such ase violence against women facilitated by the internet.

Reaction to the Gender Findings from Africa’s Access to Knowledge Research

Kathleen Diga on 2 Jun 2010 writer and a Research Officer at Canada`s International Development Research Centre, Kathleen Diga tracks the journey of <a href=""> the African Copyright & Access to Knowledge</a> (ACA2K)research network to better understand the nature of African national copyright environments and their impact on equal opportunities for all citizens to access information, particularly in the realm of education. The author argues that the ultimate development goal of copyright law is to afford equal access to educational learning materials regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability or age. The law must be flexible in order to recognize existing or potential discrimination against vulnerable groups. For example income constraints are likely to discriminate against women more than men in efforts to access educational materials. It is a follow up to a previous article,<a href=""> University women struggle for knowledge access in Africa</a>.[1]

TIC : Femmes, logiciels libres, copyrights, …les oubliés du législateur et du décideur mauritaniens

Les logiciels libres sont une vraie solution aux problèmes de fracture numérique qu’engendre le sous -développement. En effet, il est désormais indéniable qu’ils ont, avec l’implication des femmes et leur prise en compte comme actrices incontournables, une part importante à jouer dans la création d’un environnement favorable à un développement équitable et durable.

ICTs: Women, free software, copyrights,… forgotten by Mauritanian legislators and decision-makers

Fatma Mint Elkory Oumrane takes a look at the progress Mauritania is making in encouraging open access to materials, its copyright regime and how these impact on women. She examines the role of women as ICT graduates and looks at how the government is helping overcome the various digital divides - and the large amount of work that remains to be done.

Copyright? Copyleft? Why does it matter? An interview with Heather Ford

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 2 Jun 2010
GenderIt writer Mavic Cabrera-Balleza interviewed Heather Ford, Founder of the African Commons Project, a South African NGO with the goal of mobilizing communities through active participation in collaborative technology. Ford has worked in the fields of internet policy, law and management in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. She sheds light on some of these issues.

Challenges of communal copyright: Traditional and indigenous knowledge

Sonia Randhawa on 2 Jun 2010
Copyright and patents legislation has spread rapidly over the past century. This has a particular impact on indigenous women and the holders of traditional knowledge, as copyright ignores the possibility that knowledge can be held communally and has definitions of knowledge that exclude information held in a spiritual context. In this article, GenderIT writer Sonia Randhawa examines how women's lives in traditional and indigenous societies have been affected by the spread of copyright.

University women struggle for knowledge access in Africa

Kathleen Diga on 2 Jun 2010
The future female leaders of Africa are up against major barriers to knowledge access, which could mean lost opportunities in university learning and teaching the state-of-the-art research most necessary for academic success. Online academic journals, and university textbooks are a few of the important resources that are part of this access to knowledge, which is pertinent particularly at the university level. Not only do students need to pass their courses, they are also encouraged to develop innovative and novel ideas informed and possibly inspired by past research work. Kathleen Diga questions whether such access of learning materials to all students and teachers at universities in Africa are fair to both women and men.

Do copyrights and patents limit access to HIV/AIDS knowledge and treatment in Africa?

Sylvie Nyombo on 2 Jun 2010
The UNAIDS 2008 report confirms that Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region most seriously affected by AIDS in the world. As part of the response to this pandemic, access to information and knowledge on HIV/AIDS is vital, as disease prevention depends heavily on information. In a world where there is a price to pay for access to knowledge, to what extent do patents and copyrights limit access to information and HIV/AIDS treatment for African populations, particularly the women and youths who are the most affected? This article explores the connection between access to information, intellectual property rights and HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Cybercrime laws are not enough, there is also a need for education

APC on 2 Jun 2010
The different forms of online violence against women should be covered by criminal legislation to provide adequate protection and redress. However, laws are not enough. There is also a need for education, prevention, the development of defence mechanisms and a legal system that is capable of addressing these issues without subjecting the victims to further victimisation. Carlos Gregorio, a researcher at the Research Institute for Justice (<a href="" target="_blank">Instituto de Investigación para la Justicia</a>) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, shares his views on a number of issues related to cybercrime.

Integration of ICTs in the Health System: Basic Services and Risks to Privacy

How can a health care system respond to the gender-specificities in terms of providing accurate and timely information & services? And in what way can ICTs augment or challenge this effort? Natalia Fernandez presents a summary overview of various approaches by governments in different regions in adopting ICTs in health care, and highlights the potential risks to privacy that they can potentially create.
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