World Summit on Information Society/Political chapeau
This is the text which will be submitted to the WSIS by the Education Task Force. I only copied here what is relevant for the Wikimedia Foundation projects. The whole document is available at . The chapter below Rights of free access to repositories of content was added from my recommendation. Critics and suggestions welcomed. Wikipedia will be mentioned as an example in the annexes of the document. Yann
Input to the Political Chapeau and Operational Part from the Education, Academia and Research taskforce of WSIS Civil Society
Our principle: “education for shared knowledge societies, via open cognition paradigms and open access tools”; Our plan of action: “scaling up strategies for replicability, modularity and sustainability”
Teacher training, the central challenge for knowledge societies
Media and ICTs education, for creative capacity-building and digital literacy
Open courseware as unrestricted access to knowledge in higher education
Free software as a non proprietary resource
Research, beyond the R&D model, towards an R&C model
Community Informatics, Practice in the Computing Professions
Cultural diversity and global common goods
Rights of free access to repositories of content
All the previous items cannot expand, produce growth, be diffused unless there is a reduction of the present disconnect between the cost of cultural and educational products and the duration of copyright and Intellectual Property Rights and patents.
The taskforce considers that the WSIS process is a unique chance to clarify the categories between what belongs to public domain and what doesn’t. The ICTs should facilitate access to existing public domain documents, with special indexes and metadata. Nation states should develop policies to help users, inform them about their rights and responsibilities and clarify the access to these metadata and administrative processes. The current management of the rights of access is so complicated so far that they produce chilling effects to use and development of materials.
The taskforce strongly recommends the creation of a right of fair use that is not constraining. For some data they are theoretically available and free of rights but in practice, they are not easy to recuperate or they are too slow to access and therefore create frustration. These obstacles are a severe impediment to the development of valid teaching materials and reference documents that would be otherwise facilitators of scaling up modalities, like replicability, modularity and sustainability for education, training and research.
Operational part of the final document
Rights of free access
The taskforce recognizes the importance of copyright in the interest of development of innovation and of faire remuneration of creative work, but it upholds that it should be balanced byh a public right of access to knowledge, in accordance with the Universal declaration of human rights (art.27). As a result it recommends an exemption/exception of Intellectual Property Rights for archiving and educating, in the non-profit contexts of education and research, like schools, museums, libraries, archives, etc. For dissemination of materials the taskforce also recommends partnerships between authors, broadcasters and other content producers and the users (teachers and students) so as to develop documents together, free of rights, to enrich the global commons of culture. Other partnerships can be developed as in the case of the self-evolving Wikipedia…
For documents that are not free of rights, the taskforce recommends the development of an international mechanism with incremental levels of access, according to the amount of years. This amount of years should be the reverse of the one that is currently existing. Instead of increasing the years of protection, there should be a cap, that could be located around 30 years with a moving wall possible of + or – 3 years, before a document becomes public domain. This would present the advantage to give the author the benefit of his work during his lifetime, while allowing others to modify it and creating innovative forms from it. The authors should be given the option of choosing a basic fee for use of their documents before the 30 years deadline. In any case, beyond 30 years of publication, documents and patents produced by public institutions or co-financed by public funds, should be free of rights for education purposes, especially for non-profit education.