Open Consultations of UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Statement of A2K@IGF Dynamic Coalition

13 February ~ Geneva

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I speak on behalf of A2K@IGF, which is a multi-stakeholder Dynamic Coalition consisting of NGOs, business, and governments working together to promote access to knowledge and freedom of expression on the Internet.

A2K@IGF grew out of a workshop held in Athens and has subsequently established a work program, website, and mailing list to continue discussions. Our coalition is particularly concerned about the impact that unbalanced intellectual property rights have on the Internet as a tool of free expression, education, and development.

A2K@IGF will coordinate participation and awareness of Access to Knowledge (A2K) activities at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), including proposals for a Development Agenda and an Access to Knowledge Treaty at WIPO.

One focus of the coalition is setting methodologies or best practice norms for the implementation of laws dealing with Technological Protection Measures (TPM) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions, which have been shown to present serious impediments to access to knowledge and the free flow of information.

An important goal of our coalition is to make recommendations for implementation of the anti-circumvention provisions contained in the 1996 WIPO “Internet Treaties” and more recent bi-lateral trade agreements. Therefore key deliverables will be the development of “best practice norms” for DRM technologies and anti-circumvention laws and report our progress at the 2007 IGF meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

A2K@IGF recommends that IGF retain a main theme of “Openness” as it continues to provide a global forum for an exploration of Internet governance issues. It is the openness of the Internet in terms of quality and standards that has made it an unrivaled tool for promoting access to knowledge, free expression, development, and creativity.

Everyone with these shared goals is welcome to join this coalition to work with us on these projects. Please check the A2K@IGF Dynamic Coalition website at and join the mailing list for further participation. Thank you.