World Summit on the Information Society

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

IP Justice participated in the 2003-2005 United Nations sponsored World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) as a member of Civil Society.  The goal of the summit was to produce recommendations about legal and development issues arising from the the switch from an industrial to information-based global economy. However, concerns remain that the summit could have a negative impact on consumer rights, access to information, digital civil liberties, Internet governance and other aspects of a global information infrastructure.

The World Summit on the Information Society was conducted in two phases. The first meeting was hosted by the government of Switzerland and held in Geneva in December of 2003. The final summit meeting was held in Tunis from 16-18 November 2005 and was hosted by the repressive government of Tunisia.

IP Justice spoke before the WSIS General Plenary (7th Session) in Tunis and moderated two WSIS parallel event panel discussions.

According to the WSIS declaration of principles, the stated goal of the summit is to produce recommendations regarding legal and development issues about the transition from an industrial to information society. However, there is much controversy over the WSIS process. Based on experiences during its Geneva and Tunis Phases, many participants are concerned that WSIS will ultimately promote unbalanced intellectual property rights regimes, place industry before civil liberties, and shrink the global knowledge commons (see IP Justice analysis).

IP Justice participated at both WSIS Summits as a member of civil society. IP Justice gave a presentation about the global knowledge commons at the WSIS-side event and published a report about the Geneva WSIS meeting.

Official WSIS Documents

Official WSIS Site

WSIS Working Group on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright (WSIS-PCT)

WSIS Declaration of Principles

WSIS Plan of Action

Final Report: WSIS Geneva Phase

Official WSIS Document Archive

Other Links

WSIS Civil Society Meeting Point

National Academies (US) WSIS Collection – Document collection of reports related to WSIS published the US National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering and the National Research Council. Various Dates (ongoing)

World Forum on Communication Rights

Heinrich Boell’s World Summit on the Information Society

Alternative WSIS Event – Counter events by media and technology activists

Democracy Freedom and Digital Divide Panel

Direct Action around WSIS – WIPO is looking for Mermaid