Acess to knowledge (A2K) workshop Johannesburg

Sunnyside Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa, 05 April 2010

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) takes a great pleasure in inviting you to participate in the Access to Knowledge (A2K) workshop which will be on 7 April 2010 at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg. The workshop is being organised by the APC, with the support of the IDRC.

The purpose of the workshop is two-fold:

1) to share the results of APC’s research to understand the scope and media piracy in South Africa; and
2) to locate and understand the demand for access to cultural goods in the context of a broader demand for “access to knowledge” goods and the challenges citizens experience in realising such access in South Africa.

The workshop will bring together a range of people who are working on different aspects of access of knowledge, including:

  • Current trends around IP enforcement
  • Open publishing / Scholarly communications
  • Access to educational materials
  • Access to cultural goods (like music and films)
  • Open Standards
  • Open Source
  • Intellectual property laws and access for the visually impaired
  • Reforming Copyright Law

At its core, copyright law should mediate and create balance between the interests of creators and those of the public. Historically, it was intended to provide effective rights protection to the creators and provides reasonable access to the public in order to encourage creativity and innovation. Progressively – and more so as we enter deeper into the digital realm – the existing intellectual property treaties and bilateral trade agreements serve to tilt the balance in favour of copyright holders (who are mostly in developed countries) and away from the public interest and in the interest of development. Thus, these agreements have since restricted the public from access to knowledge, and has also, for the most part, prevented developing countries from being able to use digital copyrighted material.

In this workshop, participants will engage on the kinds of intellectual property (IP) policy and legislative changes that a developing country like South Africa should pursue in order to stimulate local creativity and innovation, and that will respond positively to the knowledge and development needs of the broader South African public. We hope that the workshop participants will develop a advocacy positions and a strategy on access to knowledge with a view to advancing the public interest in the current IP regime, and advance broader access to knowledge.

Learn more about the media piracy study

Speakers include Eve Gray, Tobias Schonwetter, Andrew Rens, Aslam Raffee, Derek Keats, Tanja Bosch, Pria Chetty, Kerryn McKay and Libby Lloyd.

Date: Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg
Time: 10h00 – 17h00

Please confirm your availability to participate in this event by emailing Melody Emmett at or with the following information:

* Name * Organisation * Position in organisation * Contact numbers (landline and cell) * E-mail address * Details of any special dietary requirements (vegetarian, halal, kosher, etc.)

Directions to the venue, if required, will be sent you to with confirmation of your RSVP.


Melody Emmett
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Tel/Fax: 011 622 7695
Cell: 082 868 6581

« Go back