Gilberto Gil @ WSIS

14 March 2007 – The NY Times published a terrific article today about internationally renowned singer/song-writer Gilberto Gil, who also happens to be Brazil’s Minister of Culture. Gil is speaking at “South By SouthWest” this week before kicking off his US concert tour.

I was lucky to meet Gil at the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, where he spoke about the opportunity the Internet brings to emerging artists and developing countries. Gil is a rare politician because he understands technology and the needs of the creative community.

One of the original sponsors of the Internet Bill of Rights coalition, Gil has been a leader to promote the Internet as a tool for individual empowerment. He also plays a major role on the world stage of intellectual property policy-making. He spoke at WIPO’s General Assembly last fall on his concerns over the proposed Broadcast Treaty.

According to Gil: “I think we are moving rapidly toward the obsolescence and eventual disappearance of a single traditional model and its replacement by others that are hybrids. My personal view is that digital culture brings with it a new idea of intellectual property, and that this new culture of sharing can and should inform government policies.”

I am also looking forward to seeing Gil perform his music at UC Berkeley on 25 March!