IP Justice Media Release
29 October 2006

Media Contact: Robin Gross, IP Justice Executive Director
Email: robin (at) ipjustice.org
Phone: (+30) 697 9851074

UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Opens in Athens
IP Justice Sponsors 3 Workshops on Internet Policy Issues

(Athens) The inaugural meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) takes place in Athens, Greece from 30 October – 2 November 2006. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has convened the forum to build multi-stakeholder dialogue on Internet policy issues. Over 1500 participants from around the world are expected to attend the forum to identify emerging issues and make recommendations intended to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.

In May 2006, Annan appointed IP Justice Executive Director Robin Gross to the IGF Advisory Group to help shape the policy dialogue. “The IGF was created out of recognition that the Internet has connected the world’s people together like never before, and we must work together to build an Internet that fosters a free flow of information, innovation and development for all,” said Robin Gross.

Together with a number of other NGOs, industry and governments, IP Justice is co-sponsoring three workshops at IGF on the topics of “An Internet Bill of Rights”, “Access to Knowledge and Freedom of Expression” and “Open Standards”. Details on the 3 workshops are below.

“An Internet Bill of Rights” Workshop

Wednesday, 1 November 2006 from 13:30-15:00 at Divani Apollon Palace & Spa (Plato Hall) in Athens

The workshop will deal with creating an “Internet Bill of Rights” to articulate the global rights and duties of Internet users from the viewpoint of the individual. The workshop will focus on the process of creating such an instrument and address the following questions:
* What rights are fundamental to freedom in a digital world?
* What obligations are necessary to create a digital society based on rule of law and civil liberty?
* Who are the appropriate stake-holders in making policy determinations for the Internet and what is the role of government?
* How to negotiate between conflicting values in setting policy for the online environment?
* What special challenges and opportunities does the Internet provide to the quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Workshop Speakers:
* Ms. Daniele Auffray, Alderwoman for ICT, Paris
* Mr. Fiorello Cortiana, Italian Green Party and Milano Provincia
* Prof. Stefano Rodotà, Former Head of the Council of European Data Protection Agencies
* Ms. Robin Gross, IP Justice Executive Director and Attorney
* Mr. Jose Murilo Junior from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture
* Mr. Vittorio Bertola of ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee will moderate the discussion.

Workshop Sponsors:
* Centre for Technology and Society of Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law, Rio de Janeiro
* Italian Ministry of Reform and Innovation in the Public Administration
* Italia Societa Internet
* IP Justice

Website for workshop:


“Access to Knowledge (A2K) and Free Expression” Workshop

Thursday 2 November from 11:30 – 13:00 at the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa (Plato Hall) in Athens.

“Harnessing the Power of the Internet to Provide Access to Knowledge & Free Flow of Information”: A workshop to explore significant opportunities and barriers to harnessing the power of the Internet to provide access to knowledge and encourage freedom of expression and the free flow of information. In particular, the workshop will focus on the appropriate balance for intellectual property rights on the Internet.

* Susan Struble from IT Standardization and Strategy at Sun Microsystems will address challenges to technical interoperability and the free flow of information on the Internet from software patents.
* Dr. Magdy Nagi from Egypt’s Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina) will discuss the challenges online libraries face in providing access to information and encourage development.
* Mary Wong, a Professor of Law at Franklin Pierce Law Center and the IP Academy of Singapore will address special online challenges to freedom of expression and access to knowledge from “digital locks”.
* Andrew McLaughlin, Director of Global Public Policy and Senior Counsel at Google will address the barriers Google faces in providing access to knowledge from unbalanced copyright law.
* Robin Gross, Executive Director of IP Justice will Chair the session.

Webpage for workshop:


“Open Standards” Workshop

Thursday 2 November from 9:30 – 11:30 at the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa (Aphrodite Hall) in Athens.

This workshop will present the relationship between the “openness” of ICT standards, economic and social development, and government policy making, with a focus on procurement policies. The discussion will help governments to better understand the inherent tension between intellectual property rights (IPR) holders in ICT standards and the public.

The workshop will use the example of the OpenDocument Format standard to highlight the positive impact open ICT standards can have on information access.

The workshop will share the thoughts and experiences of the participants, who represent a broad range of multi-stakeholders:

* Republic of South Africa: Natalie Sunker, Deputy Director, Intellectual Property, Policy & Legislation, Department of Trade and Industry
* Brazil: Rogerio Santanna, Secretary of Information Technology, Ministry of Planning and Budget
* Egypt’s Library of Alexandria: Prof. Magdy Nagi, Head of ICT Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Civil Society Organizations:
* Consumer Project on Technology: Jamie Love
* Yale Information Society Project: Eddan Katz
* IP Justice: Robin Gross

Intergovernmental Organization:
* South Centre, Innovation, Access to Knowledge and Intellectual Property Programme (IAIPP)

Standards Organization
* W3C: Daniel Dardieller, Associate Chair for Europe

* Sun Microsystems: Susy Struble, Government Policy

IPJ website for workshop:

See CPTech’s webpage for this workshop for more detailed information and background on the Open Standards Workshop:


More Information:

IPJ’s IGF webpage:

Official Internet Governance Forum (IGF) webpage:

IGF Athens 2006 webpage:

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