[IRP] Public comment draft of A2K amendments for UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy
Wed Jun 1 09:16:18 EEST 2011

A new international instrument on Access to Knowledge (A2K) could be in
the wings, with the first public release of a draft set of proposed
amendments to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. 
These forward-looking A2K provisions are the culmination of months of
online and face-to-face collaboration by Consumers International members
from around the world.

The draft A2K amendments are now officially open for broader public
comment at http://A2Knetwork.org/guidelines.

The UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection, which recently celebrated
their 25th year, are a "soft law" statement of principles for consumer
protection policy.  From this document, the global consumer movement has
drawn its eight consumer rights, which include the right to safety, the
right to be informed, the right to choose and the right to be heard.

In proposing A2K as the next area to be added to the Guidelines by the
UN, we have drafted amendments to:

    * Set minimum standards for essential copyright limitations and
      exceptions for consumers.
    * Stop suppliers from using technology to cripple digital products
      or unreasonably limit the ways in which consumers can use them.
    * Promote a permissive approach to copyright to facilitate
      non-commercial creativity by consumers.
    * Require that the dissemination of consumer safety information, and
      consumer-facing codes and standards, is free of copyright constraints.
    * Prohibit IP rights from being enforced in ways that trample on
      consumers' human rights.
    * Ensure that consumers retain access to their own data in formats
      that they can use, and that such data is projected against misuse.

Your input on the draft amendments is invited between now and 31 August
2011.  The online working space for the amendments allows you to browse
the Guidelines section by section, and to attach your comments to
individual paragraphs in a threaded fashion.  All comments will be taken
into account and responded to by the drafting committee.

We look forward to collaborating with you on this important initiative.


*Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Project Coordinator*
Consumers International
Kuala Lumpur Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +60 3 7726 1599

Consumers International (CI) is the world federation of consumer groups
that, working together with its members, serves as the only independent
and authoritative global voice for consumers. With over 220 member
organisations in 115 countries, we are building a powerful international
movement to help protect and empower consumers everywhere.
_www.consumersinternational.org <http://www.consumersinternational.org/>_
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