Freedom of expression
India is planning to significantly amend its Copyright Act of 1957, to include among other things the concept of Digital Rights Management, a move which could well restrict access to knowledge. Lawyers-with-a-difference are closely monitoring what's happening on this front.
An ant, they say, can infuriate an elephant. That is, if the ant choose the right target, and goes into the elephant's ear. In the Egyptian world of technology, an 24-year-old engineer is doing the same by giving a voice to protest that's otherwise stifled in that part of the globe.
Alaa has finally be released after 45 days in prison. We heard the good news from Manal earlier this week. Here is a news report from the The Independent published on 21 June 2006.
Supposedly the birthday should be a bright day, with pleasant weather, gifts, lots of flowers, hundreds of birthday wishes via SMS and emails, sumptuous ice cream cake, dinner party with friends etc. However, this wasn’t the case on my birthday this year.
Says Amnesty International: "Independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas has been staging a hunger strike since 31 January 2006 to obtain access to Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internetfor all Cubans. Internet remains under governmental control, accessible only through official organizations or at hotels from where Cuban nationals are normally barred".
APC condemns the unjust detention of free speech bloggers and journalists in Egypt. Alaa Seif Al-Islam, a seasoned blogger and APC colleague, is one of four Egyptian online diarists being held in detention for criticising the current regime since May 7. In addition, APC has heard disturbing reports about violent actions taken by state security against several of the bloggers who were released from custody last week, only to be subsequently re-arrested. Authorities prevented human rights lawyers from visiting the bloggers who had been beaten and tortured on Thursday May 25.
Internews Pakistan (http://www.internews.org.pk) compiles an annual State of the Media in Pakistan report. The one for the year 2005-06 has recently been launched. Welcoming the report, Hasan Rizvi, one of the pioneers in ICTs and development communications guru in the country commented that "The report is somewhat sketchy, especially in terms of media's coverage/access (geographic, demographic, ethnic, as well as thematic), the issues related to plurality, gender and the vast under-privileged sections of the society. That's hardly surprising for it is compiled from media practitioners point of view, and as such, the citizens' perspective is missing " .
Alaa is fine, treatment is fine in prison..the problem is in the "government" in this glossary). As a general rule, "state" should not be capitalised.
Source: Governance for sustainable human development: A UNDP policy document (Glossary of key terms) and Wikipedia">state"African journalists trained in how to communicate securely online" (APCNews and Toni Eliasz, 30 September 2004), Take Back the Tech! and APC Internet Rights Charter">security.. they can interfere with any other authorities.
South Korea is seeing some conflicts between IPR and access to knowledge (or, A2K). Over-protection of IPR may hamper access to knowledge. It is unfair to use the copyright law to prevent the public use of digital libraries.
"Pro-democracy demonstrators have been locked up and reformist judges face dismissal for criticising the Egyptian regime over its grip on power," writes The Guardian on May 8. Sign the petitions for the immediate release of Alaa and the rest of the group that was kidnapped yesterday - and who'll be detained for 15 days - on this blog.