Knowledge as a Global Public Good: How Fair Use, Open Source and ICT Standards Can Expand Digital Inclusion

3 December 2008 - A Workshop on Access in Hyderabad, India


Agenda of the Meeting
Globalization and the Internet's distribution and communication model pose a vexing question: can a global public good be defined and protected? Indeed, this pressing question is the crux of many issues outlined in the WSIS process and IGF meetings. 
This workshop starts from the premise that knowledge is a definable and protectable global public good. Stakeholders will present their viewpoints on how the concepts of open source, open IT standards, and fair use in IP law can be combined to improve digital inclusion. Panelists will discuss how government policy, private industry actions, institutions of global governance, and government procurement and financing could align to support knowledge as a global public good. 
This workshop support this year's main session on “Universalization of the Internet - How to reach the next billion (Expanding the Internet).”

The main actors in this field include civil society and consumer groups, governments, private industry, and academics. We have approached most of the potential panelists listed below.  

Civil Society 

  • Georg Greve, Free Software Foundation Europe
  • Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International
  • Robin Gross, IP Justice 


  • Laura DeNardis, Yale Law School information Society Project 
  • Philippe Schmitt, University of the Western Cape and A2K South Africa 
  • Rishab Ghosh, UNU-MERIT

Private Industry 

  • Andrew McLaughlin, Google
  • Susy Struble, Sun Microsystems


  • Laura DeNardis (Yale Law School Information Society Project, academia)
  • Susy Struble (Sun Microsystems, private industry) 
  • Thiru Balasubramaniam (Knowledge Ecology International, civil society) 
  • Georg Greve (Free Software Foundation, civil society))

The proposers believe the current panel is balanced in terms of gender. We will improve the geographical and stakeholder diversity through in-person invitations at two upcoming events: a seminar in June hosted by The South Centre, an inter-governmental organization representing the Group of 77 and China, and at an access to knowledge conference in Geneva in September, 2008.