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Theme B: The fair use concept in the information society Roundtable 3: Regional INFOethics Workshop Africa UN Conference Centre, Addis Ababa 09h00 – 11h00,

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Presentation on theme: "Theme B: The fair use concept in the information society Roundtable 3: Regional INFOethics Workshop Africa UN Conference Centre, Addis Ababa 09h00 – 11h00,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Theme B: The fair use concept in the information society Roundtable 3: Regional INFOethics Workshop Africa UN Conference Centre, Addis Ababa 09h00 – 11h00, Thursday, 14 th September, 2000 Dr Bob Day Executive Director: ICT, Unisa

2 Ethics - what do we mean?Ethics - what do we mean? Greek ethikos – dealing with human nature Normative Ethics include: – Altruists (consider interests of others) – Hedonists (pursuit of pleasure) – Consequentialists (aim for best consequences) – Utilitarianists (maximise well-being) – Deontologists (follow moral rules, despite consequences) Are we Global, Altruistic Consequentialists: – Trying to identify which actions/rules will have the best consequences for the individual, society, state and international community?

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5 ICT and Sustainable Development: Is ICT an essential precursor and accelerator of poverty alleviation and wealth creation? YES! If used to empower ALL individuals (NOT patronage) SO - need Information Equity: – Market forces alone do not reduce the "haves" & "have-nots gap - serve elites, even in developed world – So - Government involvement/facilitation needed to kick start the Equitable Information Society – Then - Allow market forces to enhance sustainability once foundations for Equity have been established.

6 How to establish Equity? Requires collaboration within developing world context of Public and private sectors, civil society, ngos, international community, and the disadvantaged… Involve Labour Movements Address Intellectual Property Issues Recognize complexity of exclusion, particularly implications of illiteracy

7 Labour and Equity - 1 Most players have been ignoring organised labour – yet in the developing world they have the power to STOP the information society. We must fully involve them. COSATU, in response to the information society is saying: Unions can either make a last stand, spanners raised, as the digital avalanche engulfs us – or we can engage actively, strategically, politically and organisationally with the unfolding changes They are an ideal partner, in the developing world, and ideal for this new role…

8 Labour and Equity - 2 Their greatest fear, supported by history of automation (old IT?), is that the Information Society will take, not make jobs. How do we prove this will not be the case? Labour sees the Information Society as strongly skewed in terms of gender, race and disability. We ALL must address this. Labour is strong on consumer protection. Labour, like many, fears that intellectual property rights (IPR) favour big business and the developed world.

9 Intellectual Property - 1 The WTOs TRIPS accord can ENFORCE extensive standards for trademark, copyright, patents, etc.. How well was the developing world represented? In 1996, WIPOs new digital agenda set global standards for protection of copyrights and performances on the Internet. What was the developing worlds involvement? Labour argues against IPR undermining the principles of fair use in education, research, study, etc, or reverse engineering of technology. Labour wants IPR to protect Africa, particularly cultural and bio- diversity heritage, and to support technology transfer. Labour wants Governments to facilitate equity in the areas of antitrust, consumer protection and IPR. Big business and the developed world usually DONT! Turn Labour from a problem to part of the solution.

10 Intellectual Property - 2 Who owns Africas wealth of community stories and music – if it isnt written down or recorded, not protected (eg Lion King). Community IP not recognised – why, when?. Removal of information and artefacts (historical, archeological, cultural, etc..), particularly during the colonial era. Possibility of redress – counterbalance crippling debt?

11 Intellectual Property - 3 IPR and the emerging knowledge society – is it an Industrial Paradigm? Value people for their ability to create new knowledge – dont make old knowledge a product Newton stood on the shoulders of those that went before – are our IP laws obstructing todays Newtons? Current Copyright, developed for the printing press era, obstructs todays developments in computers, networks, software, etc.. (makes us dependent on USA, MS..) Success of the Free Software movement an alternative? Basis for indigenous ICT industries (and expertise) in the developing world – essential to cater for development and exclusion needs.

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13 Manuel Castells 4 th World - 1 Third world no longer has geopolitical meaning – extraordinarily diversified socio-economic development Fourth world has emerged, made up of multiple black holes of social exclusion: – Most of Sub-Saharan Africa – Rural areas of Asia & Latin America – Every country: ghettos; ethnic enclaves; unemployed youth; etc. Populated by millions of homeless, incarcerated, prostituted, criminalized, brutalized, stigmatized, sick, and illiterate people The rise of the Fourth World is inseparable from the rise of informational, global capitalism

14 Manuel Castells 4 th World - 2 Functional Illiteracy is not just a developing world problem. 40+ million USA adults have blatantly insufficient levels of reading and writing in English, as well as of elementary arithmetic. It is a global cause for unemployability, poverty and social exclusion. The First World is not solving their component of this problem – their information society is not equitable. Why this functional illiteracy despite all the First Worlds educational and support advantages? Language is natural, TEXT is NOT!

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17 Digitisation – Not Guilty? Suggestion is that it is NOT digitisation that is creating the digital divide, but what we are (and are not) digitising. To promote fair use (equity) for ALL, we need to minimise text (NOT voice) and maximise multimedia content, particularly for our most marginalised people. This is particularly true for the delivery of educational content, and for the authoring and creation of indigenous knowledge.

18 Theme B: The fair use concept in the information society Thank You

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20 Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology

21 The Knowledge Society New paradigm, emphasising the value of each human mind, rather than automating their muscle. Information rather than energy intensive. Sustained through networks, not single organisations. Supports distributed rather than centralised intelligence. Requires multiple skills and continuous learning. Customised rather than standardised products. Enabled by ICTs whilst simultaneously driving the development of new ICTs.


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