45 Public Interest Groups Send Letter to WIPO on IP Enforcement Activities

By |December 6th, 2011|

Forty-five civil society groups concerned about efforts to ratchet-up the enforcement of intellectual property rights beyond healthy levels sent a letter to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) this week to their express concern on WIPO's continued promotion of a "maximalist" agenda with respect to intellectual property rights. The civil society letter reminded WIPO that this approach undermine's development dimensions and subordinates fundamental rights including freedom of expression on the Internet. The public interest groups cite the lack of transparency in WIPO decisions and its lack of balancing other public interest concerns in its approach.

Civil Society Involvement in ICANN: Strengthening Future Civil Society Influence in ICANN Policymaking

By |September 27th, 2011|

Civil Society Involvement in ICANN: Strengthening Future Civil Society Influence in ICANN Policymaking
By Robin Gross (APC)
September 2011
 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was established in 1998 by the United States Department of Commerce to oversee a number of internet-related tasks. One of its core duties is to manage the Internet Assigned Names […]

What does it mean for ICANN to act in the public interest?

By |July 8th, 2011|

ICANN should bake-in to its internal policy development process, consideration of the various interests and stakeholders that can together reach what can be called the 'public interest'. Consider principles that we agree help us to achieve what we think is the 'public interest,' like openness and promoting freedom and making sure the Internet enables education, communication, innovation, exploration ...

IP Justice Comments on ICANN Accountability & Transparency Concerns: Lack of Accountability to Non-Commercial Users Remains Problematic for ICANN’s Promise to Protect the Public Interest

By |July 14th, 2010|

IP Justice is deeply concerned that ICANN is insufficiently accountable to relevant non-commercial interests. Certain interests, such as business interests (in particular the trademark and domain name industries) are over-represented at ICANN both in structure and in practice. On the other hand, non-commercial interests and individual Internet users are not given the appropriate representation, although some improvements have been made in recent years. There is a real worry that ICANN is an "industry organization" and works predominantly for trademark interests and the domain name industry. Too often non-commercial concerns are ignored by ICANN; without any real "muscle" behind non-commercial interests, ICANN has little incentive to protect those interests in its policy development process...

Sign the International Civil Society Declaration on the Public Interest Concerns of the Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

By |June 19th, 2010|

Please consider endorsing the International Civil Society Declaration, which was the result of a meeting in Washington, DC (16-18 June 2010) of over 90 academics from 5 continents, public interest organizations and other legal experts concerned with the public interest aspects of ACTA. ACTA is a dangerous proposal to radically expand intellectual property rights at the global level. The draft agreement has been negotiated in secret, without inclusion of developing nation perspectives, and without any participation from civil society or regard for the global public interest. ACTA specifically targets the Internet and regulates the flow of information in a digital environment. ACTA would create significant negative consequences for fundamental freedoms, access to medicines, innovation, the balance of public/private interests, access to knowledge and culture, to name a few of its problems. ACTA represents a "wish list" from Hollywood and Big Pharma which will be imposed unilaterally on developing countries through trade pressure from the US, Europe and other wealthy states....

Statement of the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) and the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) on Transparency and ICANN Staff Documents

By |May 20th, 2010|

ICANN's transparency commitment demands the adoption of a principle of default openness for all Board communications except in those specific instances where it is over-ridden, in writing, by the principle of personal privacy or an explicit requirement of confidentiality. It is especially critical that policy matters and the contributions of supporting organizations and advisory committees be presented to the Board accurately and completely. While we appreciate the need for staff to summarize matters that are often complex, we must stress the importance of ensuring that these summaries accurately report the relevant facts and positions. Openness and public review will minimize inaccuracies, facilitating the role of staff while enhancing public confidence in the Board's decision-making process....

ICANN Staff Up To Same Old “Divide & Conquer” of Civil Society Strategy

By |September 22nd, 2009|

I had a conversation recently with a person who had been actively engaged at ICANN in its early days but became disillusioned and disengaged after a few years because his participation lead him to the conclusion that ICANN staff manage the organization's board of directors and the "community" via the GNSO and the At-Large Advisory Committee. He said the staff intentionally worked to stir up divisiveness between community participants in order to justify adopting the staff's own agenda. Before I even had the opportunity to say my first word about my own experience with participating at ICANN, this person who hadn't even been at ICANN in nearly 10 years spoke my thoughts and described my own experience about participating at ICANN for the last 5 years as I have. ...

Public Interest Groups in ICANN Appeal to New President For Fairer Treatment For Civil Society

By |September 3rd, 2009|

The organization that represents Non-Commercial Internet Users in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued an open letter to the Board this week, expressing concern about the possible failure of ICANN's attempt to balance the representation of commercial and noncommercial interests.

ICANN GNSO Chair Joins the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to Support Civil Society at ICANN

By |August 24th, 2009|

GNSO Chair Avri Doria joined ICANN's Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to support civil society at ICANN in its struggle for a stakeholder group charter that is drafted in a bottom-up fashion and considers the needs of noncommercial users of the Internet. Although not a card-carrying member of NCUC before now, Doria had been a long time supporter of civil society at ICANN with strong ties to noncommercial users and individual Internet users. Doria had been appointed to serve three terms on the GNSO Council from ICANN's Nominating Committee (first was a partial term) and she was elected to Chair the GNSO Council thrice..."

“Top Ten Myths About Civil Society Participation in ICANN” From the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)

By |August 21st, 2009|

ICANN Staff and the commercial constituencies at ICANN have been busy spreading mis-information about civil society participation at ICANN - largely to keep civil society and noncommercial interests marginalized. For example, ICANN is not allowing the noncommercial users to elect their representatives on the GNSO Policy Council and will instead "appoint" representatives, unlike all the other constituencies at ICANN. Here are a few of the top myths spread about civil society at ICANN and the truth about these myths.