KEI statement in opposition to the OECD draft text on the Principles of Internet Policy Making

On June 29, while the OECD civil society group CSISAC (80+ NGOs) debated the text of a high level statement on the Principles of Internet Policy Making, I sent this missive to the group discussing the text, expressing KEI’s opposition to the draft statement.

Thank you for your hard work on this.

While there are some noted improvements, I still find this document as a whole quite disturbing. The Internet has actually demonstrated how much creativity is fostered without intellectual property, in fact despite IPR. Intellectual property is not a “driving” tool of the Internet. The Internet was NOT created by patents or copyright or trademark. Why would intellectual property be such a central theme for such a document? We concede that the Internet must not be a lawless “place” but this document where words such as “fair use, limitation and exception for users (it is “fixed” for the ISPs?), open source, free software, public domain, etc never appear, is wrong in tone and in its focus.

Finally, the last paragraph is about protecting fundamental rights but they do not seem to include our rights. Only the rights of copyright owners are actually expressed all over the text. The need for balance between right owners and creative communities & consumers is not.

Our organization feels very uncomfortable with the document and is not endorsing it. I am not sure about our exact status as member of CSISAC but I am sure KEI cannot agree with these “principles for Internet policy-making. “

PS we also believe that discussions about “free flow of information” should be done in a much more transparent way. The text should have been made public in order to get input from the Internet community as a whole. It is also of course quite difficult to “discuss” a text without being able to post it.

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