Internet policy infrastructure for sustainable Internet development: lessons from attempts at IP enforcement

7 November 2012 - A Workshop on Openness in Baku, Azerbaijan


Over the last few years, a myriad of new legal frameworks aimed at addressing enforcement of intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally have emerged, and rapidly became "center stage" of the Internet governance debate. Examples include: COICA, PIPA, SOPA, TPP and ACTA. Proponents argue that a new approach is needed because existing laws are insufficient to deal with infringement in the digital environment. Critics raise concerns about the potential collateral impact on free flow of information, freedom of expression and access to information, as well as the extra-territorial reach such laws may have. Views are passionate on all sides and the debate has spilled into the streets with citizens expressing their opinions in social media and protests. Our objective is to facilitate a robust multi-stakeholder discussion with the workshop participants about the appropriate policy infrastructure for maximizing the benefits of new technologies and allow for sustainable development of content, culture and innovation. The interactive discussion will include: - Views of cross-border enforcement frameworks from all stakeholders - How are existing laws insufficient to deal with infringement in the digital environment? - The appropriate role of internet intermediaries and ICTs in sustainable Internet development - Seizing domain names through DNS enforcement and the risks of fragmentation - Will structures built for copyright enforcement provide justification for censorship and surveillance by authoritarian regimes? - What new approaches can help ensure legal frameworks provide space for freedom of expression and the free flow of information? - How do we achieve a fair balance? We anticipate a robust interactive discussion, with views from the panelists and stakeholderss who participate in the workshop.