Apr 212011

Consumers International has published its third annual IP Watchlist, which “assesses the fairness of the world’s intellectual property laws and enforcement practices from an important yet under-represented perspective: that of an ordinary consumer.”  The best-rated countries are Moldova, the U.S., India, Lebanon and New Zealand.  The worst-rated countries are Thailand, Chile, the UK, Brazil and Belarus.

The report highlights some best  practices related to intellectual property, such as South Africa’s Free and Open Source Software policy.  It also highlights some worst practices, such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s decision to exclude creative-commons licensed music from its podcasts, and an Australian law requiring educators to “pay for the materials that they copy for their students from freely-accessible public websites.” The report highlights areas where consumer protections are missing from the majority of countries’ laws surveyed, such as “any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works.” Continue reading »

Feb 212011

An international open letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in support of the work of the Brazilian society and government for the cultural commons is now online: http://www.petitiononline.com/CSGFeb11/petition.html. It has been signed by international organizations, academics and activists.  The letter points out a range of achievements by the previous Ministry of Culture (MinC), including the support for free software, the Development Agenda at WIPO, an open inclusive dialogue in society about culture policies, the adoption of free licenses and the copyright bill. Continue reading »