Colombo-based Professor Rohan Samarajiva : "As civil society organisations, we tend to forget the less obvious things. Like submarine cables. But these are things that have massive payoffs. You need to be a bit opportunistic about it (while campaigning on that)."
Can a lack of information be solved simply by setting up telecentres? Should poor-governance sought to be sorted out just by building e-governance? And, if the problem is a lack of market information, can this be met merely by building up e-commerce portals?
"Whatever is the state of localisation in India, the government is definitely responsible for framing the policies. We have dreams of software superpowerdom, yet basic tools are not in place. They have spent crores (tens of millions by Government of India organisations) CDAC and TDIL, and that too all in the name of undertaking work in Indic computing and benefitting the people," says Ravikant of New Delhi, who has been closely keeping track of Free Software localisation efforts in India.
It is assumed that everyone who buys a cheap illegally-copied ("pirated") copy of music or software CD would actually buy
the costly ‘official’ version. Links have been made by piracy and terrorism, which are actually quite ludicrous. ‘Intellectual property’ is used as a term, instead of ‘creative expression’. When something is called property, we are stealing, poaching and pirating. Instead of what we should be really see it as being — sharing, creating and enhancing cultural products.
Technology is changing. But the mindset stays the same. And so are the laws. Now, you can start working your networking from a single room. You can start small, keep on deploying, moving out from there, and cover an entire country as you encourage the demand to expand. But is there any recognition to this?
Because the technology has changed, it has a huge impact on how investments will be made, and how the people will use
As far as radio waves go, South Asia could perhaps call itself the dark continent. This part of the planet has an almost-uniformly unenlightened policy when it comes to opening up its airwaves. Voices from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal….
Remember the old joke that the doctor’s operation was a success, but the patient died? Free/Libre and Open Source Software (or FOSS) is a great idea. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out right. This was the cautionary message emerging from an ‘open space’ at the APC Regional Consultation on ICT Policy in South Asia (April 19-21, 2006, Dhaka).
Should people who illegally copy software onto their computer (probably because it’s so outlandishly priced) be called ‘pirates’? Is it fair to liken people who attack ships at high seas to those who make copies of digital products, though it’s against the law? Or is illegal copying of software "infringement of illegal property and unethical, crimal and
Does civil society understand ICT policies at all? Take your pick….
APC is currently holding an ambitious programme in South Asia, and is drawing a wide range of participation. Here’s looking forward to more activity in the most populous region of the planet. Where ICTs, if effectively used, could make a big difference…