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Challenges and opportunities for freedom of expression in the networked environment

News Stories (7th - 13 March)

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Tue, 2007-03-20 11:12.

Public debate

Youtube banned in Turkey after video insults
A Turkish court ruling blocked access to the video sharing site Youtube after videos were posted on the site that criticise Ataturk. This illustrates the tensions that can exist between national law and international websites, and how governments can control internet content.
The ban was lifted after the video clip was removed from the Youtube site.

A slap in the face for citizen journalists
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that would ban citizens from filming and broadcasting acts of violence.

South Africa’s freedom includes its data
Discussion of the importance of the Promotion of Access to Information act in South Africa.

Democracy

US politicians embrace podcasts
After much coverage of US presidential candidates’ use of the internet for campaigning, politicians are now exploring other ways to reach citizens using new technologies. Commentators suggest that mobile phones might become the next new political tool

Culture and education

Geological knowledge to go online
An international effort to make geological data from around the world accessible online illustrates the potential of the internet to advance science and knowledge production.

US plans to strengthen international intellectual property rights
The US government plans to fight for greater protection of intellectual property rights in international and multilateral forums such as the WTO. The US Patent and Trademark Office has also warned that file-sharing software poses risk to security. and threatens intellectual property rights

Gilberto Gil hears the future, some rights reserved
An article exploring the innovative approach of Gilberto Gil, musician and Brazilian Minister of Culture, to intellectual property rights in the networked communications environment.

MIT to offer all courses free online
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA is to provide free access to its courses online in a bid to advance education around the world.

Drivers of Change

Belgium to force broadband providers to cut charges
Illustrates the role that national regulators can play in promoting access to technologies and in affecting the functioning of telecommunications industries.

Viacom will sue Youtube for $1bn
The global media conglomerate Viacom is suing Google for failing to take adequate measures to prevent copyright infringement of Viacom content on the Youtube video sharing site. This can be seen as part of the ongoing struggle of media companies to adapt to the challenges presented by new technologies to their business models.

Net copes with key character tests
The next stage in ongoing efforts to make the net a multilingual environment. The dominance of English on the internet restricts its potential to act as a tool for free expression for many people around the world.

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