US Supreme Court Hands Big Win to Free Speech Advocates in the IP World

By |June 2nd, 2008|

[Major League Baseball v. CBC Distribution] By Allonn E. Levy, Esq. "An obvious “win” for Free Speech advocates and “netizens” concerned with ensuring open access to information on the Internet, the case also helps the burgeoning field of Internet information consolidators who help consumers collect information and process it. Expect to see the case cited frequently in the near future as more and more courts will be facing cases where Internet based information companies battle these issues out with content holders..."

US Congress Cites Free Expression as Reason ICANN Must Remain Controlled by US Govt.

By |May 15th, 2008|

US Congressmen are up to their old tricks of pretending to care about free expression publicly, while undermining it's practice with their policy decisions -- especially when it comes to free speech on the Internet. Congressman Edward Markey, the Chairman of the Congressional Sub-committee on Telecommunications and the Internet sent a letter urging the US Government to refuse to relinquish unilateral oversight of ICANN, the US Commerce Department created organization set up to manage the Internet's root server. Although the reason given by the politicians for needing the US to dominate Internet policy is to protect freedom of expression on the Internet, it is worth noting that ICANN and the US Congress have consistently refused to respect freedom of expression principles in its Internet policy-making choices. (Remember the new ICANN plan to prohibit top-level domain names that are offensive, immoral, disorderly, and desired by 'established institutions'?) The Internet Governance Project Blog discusses in more detail the irony of using freedom of expression arguments in order to continue to engage in censorship at ICANN. The post is worth a read to anyone who cares about freedom of expression on the Internet....

IP Justice Statement at IGF Open Consultation of IGF Dynamic Coalition for Access to Knowledge and Free Expression (A2K@IGF)

By |May 13th, 2008|

"IPR protection has always been given to creators and inventors in exchange for some benefit to the public. These are usually included in IP law as exceptions and limitations that can provide a benefit to the public. For example, when copyright owners permit the copying of their materials for private and educational use, they contribute to the general pool of knowledge available on the Internet. The practice of remixing, re-using, editing, and combining of audio-video and text to comment on culture and create transformative works depends upon a system of robust exceptions and limitations to exclusive rights. This coalition supports innovation and the creation of wealth through IPR incentivization, but we also seek to support alternative models for creating knowledge goods, including free and open source software, or open scholarly and scientific journals, and on-line access to scholarly research, publicly funded research, and essential documents such as legal information. The A2K@IGF coalition welcomes a discussion in Hyderabd that explores best practices for promoting sharing of knowledge and access to information and that explores a variety of business models designed to encourage creativity and innovation. We welcome participation from all stakeholders in this ongoing discussion to build an open and inclusive Internet to promote human development and individual empowerment...."

Granny Hackers Make History: First Computer Programmers Inspire Documentary

By |December 5th, 2007|

Congratulations are in order to cyberlaw pioneer Kathy Kleiman for her work to produce a documentary film on the first computer programmers - women working for the US military during World War II. ABCNews published an article on the film documentary today with a photo of some of these amazing women. ...

IP Justice Report on 2007 Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

By |November 19th, 2007|

Links to Audio, Video, and Photos of IGF-Rio. Where 2007 IGF Excelled: High Quality of Independently Organized Workshops, World-Class Technical Capabilities, Offline Interactions & Networking Opportunities; But: Human Rights & Controversy Avoided, Glaring Lack of Gender Balance & Youth Voices, Last' Year's Speakers ...

IP Justice Recommendations for a Development Agenda at WIPO

By |September 24th, 2007|

IP Justice Recommendations for the 2007 WIPO General Assembly on the WIPO Development Agenda
In 2004, at the General Assembly of the WIPO, two member nations Brazil and Argentina submitted proposals for establishing a Development Agenda for WIPO.  This proposal found wide support from most member nations to WIPO.  As you all know, the proposal for […]

Netizens Encouraged to Weigh-In on Free Expression Concerns at ICANN

By |August 13th, 2007|

"ICANN announced Friday that a 21-day comment period has opened for the public to submit comments regarding ICANN's proposed policy for approving new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on the Internet. The Keep The Core Neutral coalition (KTCN) has created a new Action Alert to guide supporters in submitting comments to ICANN. KTCN is concerned with policy recommendations for ICANN to reject domain names that others find to be offensive or immoral. KTCN calls on ICANN to refrain from making general policy decisions and to stick to its technical mission. KTCN launched in June 2007 and now has over 200 organizational and individual members from around the world. All coalition members have signed a petition urging ICANN to refrain from using non-technical criteria for approving applications for new gTLDs and to create a policy driven by the protection freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet..."

NCUC Proposes Amendments to Protect Free Expression in Domain Name Policy at ICANN

By |June 2nd, 2007|

ICANN's Non-Commercial User's Constituency (NCUC) introduced 5 proposals to amend the draft GNSO recommendations for a policy to introduce new generic top-level domains (gtlds). NCUC's amendments are intended to provide some recognition of respect for freedom of expression rights in the GNSO recommendations. NCUC proposes that ICANN keep the core neutral of national, regional, moral, and religious policy conflicts. The current draft GNSO recommendations would not permit a controversial or offensive word to be included in a top-level Internet domain name and would expand the rights of trademark owners on the Internet.

Free Expression Threatened by Policy to Ban Controversial Ideas in Domain Names

By |May 30th, 2007|

ICANN’s current proposal for evaluating new top-level domains will result in massive censorship on the Internet, since controversial or offensive ideas will not be allowed in a top-level domain. And the proposal vastly expands the rights of large trademark holders to control the use of language on the Internet, well beyond what US or international trademark law grants to trademark owners. ICANN’s historical practice of deferring to the intellectual property lobby in setting global domain name policy has consistently provided ammunition to those who would question ICANN’s legitimacy and its ability to govern in the global public interest. ICANN will continue to grapple with a perception of illegitimacy, particularly from the developing world, as long as it operates for the benefit of narrow special interests, while disregarding fundamental freedoms in its policy development process. For ICANN to remain the appropriate international forum to be entrusted with managing the Internet’s root server, ICANN must stick to its narrow technical mission and keep the core neutral on national policy issues.

Drivers of Change in Internet Governance – Slides from Freedom of Expression on the Internet Event in Buenos Aries

By |May 18th, 2007|