Access to information

APCNews 138 – Spectrum in Brazil, Wikileaks – 28/3/11

APCNews 138 – Spectrum in Brazil, Wikileaks – 28/3/11

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APCNews – March 28 2011 – Year XI Issue 138
The news service on ICTs for social justice and sustainable development

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APC has always considered access to the internet as a basic rig

Pirated DVDs in a South African township mean access to culture and social inclusion

GULMARG 14 March 2011 (LC for APCNews)

Although the political significance of piracy as a form of rebellion in South Africa has mostly dropped away in the post-Apartheid era, “the sharply racialised patterns of inequality and access to media have not,” says a new book that looks at the prevalence of media piracy, how it is organised, and why people buy pirated goods or work in the black market. The book collects case studies from various countries including a chapter on South Africa by APC. The case study of Hanover Park, a township outside Cape Town, reveals that watching pirated films brings families together. And more importantly, allows people with limited means the opportunity to access information and culture they would otherwise not be able to afford, bridging the social gap between the different social classes and making them be a part of a global conversation.

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Media Piracy in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG 14 March 2011 (LC for APCNews)

Poverty and social inequity in South Africa have shaped the development of media culture and distribution in the country. Low incomes in a country where one-third of the population lives on less than one dollar a day, high prices for commercial DVDs and Cds and a widespread advertising culture have created a high demand for media goods which are not easily obtained legally for the great majority of South Africans. Making pirated disks, books and online digital formats the desirable alternative. A new study on media piracy Media Piracy in Emerging Economies examines why piracy has come to be so widespread world-wide, the reasons why it persists and looks at the future. APC is the contributor for the South African chapter.

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APCNews 137 – Media Piracy and access to knowledge – 14/3/11

APCNews 137 – Media Piracy and access to knowledge – 14/3/11

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APCNews – March 14 2011 – Year XI Issue 137
The news service on ICTs for social justice and sustainable development
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Although media piracy is ubiquitous in most low and middle-inc

Open spectrum for development: Brazil case study

By Carlos Afonso, with collaboration from Jonas Valente (March 2011, APC )

For about 75 years up to the sixties, nearly all telecommunications services in the country were in private hands, distributed among hundreds of local operators. Telephony authorizations were issued and controlled by the state governments. In this process Companhia Telefônica Brasileira (CTB, a subsidiary of the Canadian company Brazilian Traction) emerged as a major operator of local and long-distance services in the majority of the larger Brazilian cities, covering about 80% of the telephone terminals in the country. CTB shared the market in these cities with Companhia Telefônica Nacional, CTN, an ITT3 subsidiary. The remaining cities and towns were covered by small local operators in extremely precarious situations.

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Opinion Sharing Meeting on Role of Community Radio in implementing Right To Information in Bangladesh

Dhaka

Opinion Sharing Meeting on
Role of Community Radio in implementing
Right To Information in Bangladesh

An opinion sharing meeting on “the role of Community Radio in implementing Right to Information” was held on 28th February, 2011, at 11 a.m. in Information Commission Bangladesh Office at Sher-e-Bangla-Nagar, Agargaon, Dhaka. The meeting was organized by Information Commission.

LinkedIn temporarily blocked in China

Ottawa, Canada

On February 24th, LinkedIn – the popular business social networking site – was unexpectedly unavailable in China. Users suspected the site had fallen victim to China’s strict censorship regime, often called the Great Firewall.

Fortunately, LinkedIn’s sudden disappearance appears to have been only temporary, as the site was accessible again late Friday evening.

Eleven tips for opening up the spectrum

MONTREAL 28 February 2011 (Evan Light for APCNews)

Most communications policies around the globe have been developed on models based on the economic, political and social realities of North America and Europe – which assume large private companies build expansive national wired infrastructures. So laws and regulations have evolved with the understanding that these wired networks are the main communication infrastructure and that wireless networks connect through them. But wired networks do not exist in many developing countries and do not necessarily need to be built.

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South Africa: Untapped TV spectrum can make internet more affordable

GULMARG 28 February 2011 (LC for APCNews)

“Open spectrum is important because access is important” says Steve Song, telecommunications fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation in an interview with APCNews. But in South Africa, the problem is not lack of access – it’s that access is not affordable. Freeing up wireless spectrum, such as television white spaces —the space between channels— or making more information available on spectrum that is currently not in use could help to make affordable access a reality. Song is the author of a new country survey report commissioned by APC in which he explores how spectrum is currently managed in South Africa, and the barriers that are blocking availability.

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