Public Policy 15 February 2012

WIPO SCCR23 – Internet Society Statement

Internet Society’s intervention during the 23rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights

21 November 2011, Geneva

Thank you honourable Chair, Vice-Chairs, distinguished Delegates, Observers and Secretariat. The Internet Society is still a relatively new participant in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), having been granted Permanent Observer status at the General Assembly last year. We see our role in this forum as providing technical guidance and advice to policy makers involved in key Internet issues.

As this is our first time addressing the SCCR, please let me take a moment to very briefly mention some relevant activities. Earlier this year, the Internet Society released a detailed discussion paper examining emerging Internet-focused strategies to address online copyright infringement.[1]  More recently, we published a short statement on DNS-filtering.[2]

The Internet Society co-organised three workshops with WIPO concerning online copyright issues: at the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Nairobi in September[3]; at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2011 in May; and adjacent to the last session of the SCCR in June. We also participated in the second session of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Committee on Development Information Science and Technology (CODIST-II) and delivered a presentation on IPR Infringement in Cyberspace: Technical and Legal Options for Policy Makers Facing New Challenges.  Further, we are also pleased to inform the SCCR that the Internet Society participated in part of the 33rd APEC Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group meeting as an invited guest.

We wish to commend the work being undertaken in the SCCR to provide persons with print disabilities with greater and enhanced access to content, particularly across borders. A technology-neutral international instrument on limitations and exceptions for persons with print disabilities, facilitating cross-border sharing of accessible works, would positively contribute to the goals of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Similarly, we look forward to the discussions on exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, which serve an important role as public repositories and access points for cultural, scientific, economic and other categories of information and heritage.

We also wish to encourage WIPO to continue to include development issues in its agenda.

The Internet Society looks forward to continuing working with WIPO and its stakeholders to ensure the development of sound policies and agreements concerning Internet-related Intellectual Property issues. Thank you.

[1] Perspectives on Policy Responses to Online Copyright Infringement: An Evolving Policy Landscape (February 2011) – Paper

[2] Internet Society Perspectives on Domain Name System (DNS) Filtering – Document

[3] IGF workshop – Report

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