The Intersection of Open ICT Standards, Development and Public Policy

12 November 2007 - A Workshop on Access in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


This workshop will present an update on recent global discussions on the intersection of open ICT standards, development needs, and public policy. Last year's IGF workshop on open standards focused on the inherent tension between the public interest and intellectual property rights holders in ICT standards. This year's workshop will continue the discussion and focus on tangible policy efforts, such as recent developments in WIPO, continuing discussions in the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade committee, policy efforts by various countries in Europe and Brazil, etc. 


Members of the Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards steering committee, including:

Free Software Foundation Europe
Knowledge Ecology International
Sun Microsystems


* Richard Owens, Director of the Copyright E-Commerce Division, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

RICHARD OWENS is Director of the Copyright E-Commerce, Technology and Management Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. His work lies at the intersection of intellectual property, new technologies and the Internet, involving issues such as IPR implications of online business models, the liability of Internet intermediaries, the rights of users and consumers of digital content, digital rights management (DRM), standards and interoperability issues, proprietary and open source software models, and copyright collective management.

* Laura DeNardis, Visiting Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
Laura DeNardis is a Resident Fellow at Yale Law School in the Information Society Project. Her research addresses the political and legal implications of information and communication technologies with a concentration in Internet technical standardization, information security, digital media
interoperability, and Internet governance. Laura is the author of the book Information Technology in Theory (Thomson, 2007), co-written with Pelin Aksoy. She has taught information technology in the School of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University and science and technology studies at New York University. She has a Ph.D. in Science and Technology
Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech, a Master of Engineering degree from Cornell, and a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth.

* Georg Greve, Free Software Foundation Europe
Georg Greve is a physicist by studies and has been developing software for more than 20 years. Together with likeminded people he initiated and founded the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) in 2001 and has been working as its president ever since. His work involves supporting and protecting the Free Software community around the world, work with corporations that seek to make a living from Free Software, legal matters as well as politics, including the European Commission and the United Nations.

* Robin Gross, Executive Director, IP Justice
Robin D. Gross is founder and Executive Director of IP Justice an international civil liberties organization that promotes balanced intellectual property law and protects freedom of expression ( An attorney, Ms. Gross advises policy makers throughout the world on the impact of intellectual property rules before national legislatures and in international treaties and trade agreements. Ms. Gross lectures at international seminars, law schools and universities on cyberspace legal issues including digital copyright, fair use, and Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharing. n May 2006 UN Secretary General appointed Ms. Gross as Member of his Advisory Group to the UN Internet Governance Forum. She represents the Non-Commercial Users (NCUC) Constituency on the GNSO Policy Council at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Union for the Public Domain, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to protecting the public domain. Ms. Gross also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility - Peru, and for FreeMuse, an independent international organization based in Copenhagen that advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide.

Rishab Ghosh
Economist and managing editor of First Monday, a peer-reviewed journal covering Internet economics, law and technology. He is co-programme leader of the e-Basics Research Unit at the EC financedInternational Institute of Infonomics which is linked to theUniversity of Maastricht, the Netherlands. He coordinated and was the main author of a recently finished research in free/libre open source software (FLOSS).

* Carlos Afonso, Director of Planning, Information Network for the Third Sector (RITS) and Academic Coordinator, ITS Centre for Research, Study and Education (NUPEF)

* Thomas Vinje, Clifford Chance
Specialises in European Union competition and intellectual property law, especially in high-technology matters. Advises major corporations regarding mergers, joint ventures, distribution systems, licensing, and competition and intellectual property litigation. Particular experience in advising in relation to the information and communications technology industries. Speaks regularly on European Union intellectual property and antitrust law, and has authored numerous articles and contributions to books on those topics. Chairs the U.S. Board of Editors for Droit de l’Informatique et des Télécoms and sits on the Board of Editors for both Computer und Recht and Computer und Recht International and on the Correspondents Panel for the Computer Law and Security Report. Chairs the Education Committee of Licensing Executives Society International. Lectures for the International Business Law Postgraduate Program at the University of Zurich and at the Faculty of Law of the University of Namur in Belgium.

* Cynthia Waddell, Executive Director, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)

Cynthia Waddell is an internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and information technology as well as employment and construction. She is the author of the first accessible web design standard in the United States in 1995 that led to recognition as a best practice by the federal government and contributed to the eventual passage of legislation for Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (Section 508). She is a Lecturer in Law and holds a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law. She was designated a Public Interest Disability Rights Scholar and a Dan Bradley Fellow for the Employment Law Center in San Francisco, California. In addition, she was a Rotary International Foundation Fellow at Exeter University, England, as well as an USC-Cambridge University Scholar at Cambridge University, England. She received her B.A. cum laude, from the University of Southern California where she received Honors at Entrance.

* Malcolm Harbour, Member of the European Parliament

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