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1 Journal of the World Association for Christian Communication 3/2009 Media Development WACC Copyright and Development: Changing the System + plus Give peace a channel! Memory and denial: Rwanda 15 years on Cómo democratizar la comunicación de masas en Puerto Rico? Environmental communication research in Spanish

2 Visit the WACC web site Up-to-date information and news about WACC, its programmes and activities, can be found at News and information about each of the eight WACC regions can be found at: An index of WACC publications can be found at: Regular publications from WACC (including archives) are located at: WACC s online bookshop can be found at: Join WACC as an affiliate or voting member: Subscription details for Media Development can be found at: media_development Media Development is published quarterly by the World Association for Christian Communication 308 Main Street Toronto, Ontario M4C 4X7, Canada. Tel: Fax: Editor Philip Lee Editorial Consultants Clifford G. Christians (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA). Margaret Gallagher (Communications Consultant, United Kingdom). Robert A. Hackett (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada). Cees J. Hamelink (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands). Patricia A. Made (Journalist and Media Trainer, Harare, Zimbabwe). Robert W. McChesney (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA). Francis Nyamnjoh (CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal). Rossana Reguillo (University of Guadalajara, Mexico). Clemencia Rodriguez (Ohio University, USA). Ubonrat Siriyuvasek (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand) Annabelle Sreberny (School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom). Pradip Thomas (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia). Subscriptions Individuals and subscribers worldwide US$40. Libraries and institutions in North America and Europe US$75. Libraries and institutions elsewhere in the world US$50. The contents of Media Development may be reproduced only with permission. Opinions expressed in the journal are not necessarily those of the editor or of WACC. Cover design Brad Collicott See the site in Spanish at or in German at Printed by Regal Press Canada Limited ISSN Made with recyled fibres

3 Media Development VOL LVI 3/ Towards a culture of sharing The Copy/South Research Group 5 Cross-subsidies on the Internet and on cellular networks Roberto Verzola 9 Cuál es la forma ideal para construir y circular conocimiento? Carolina Botero Cabrera y Julio César Gaitán Bohórquez 14 Differing traditions of cultural creation in the South Copy/South Dossier 19 Unilateralismo y progresividad de los derechos de autor y el copyright Rafael Carreño 23 The future of access: Golden touch or miraculous loaf? Roberto Verzola FORUMFORUMFORUM 28 Cómo democratizar la comunicación de masas en Puerto Rico? Maximiliano Dueñas Guzmán 33 Environmental communication research in Spanish Miguel Vicente Mariño 39 Give peace a channel! Tatsushi (Tats) Arai 43 Memory and denial: Rwanda 15 years on Gerald Caplan 46 In the event On the page Traditional knowledge and copyright The Copy/South Research Group In the Next Issue The 4/2009 issue of Media Development will focus on different aspects of crossing communication borders. Where do the frontiers of communication lie today? How are crossings effected? What kinds of transgression might take place? Media Development 3/2009 1

4 EDITORIAL Equitable access to information and knowledge is a key principle of communication rights and participatory development. At stake is the kind of enabling environment that offers adequate and relevant resources aimed at strengthening people s capacities to determine their own futures. In other words, there is a range of information and knowledge that should be available to all people and which enables them to act in order to safeguard their lives, livelihoods, cultures and traditions. If access to such resources is unreasonably denied or restricted, people s rights are infringed. Traditional (for which read consumer-based ) notions of intellectual property and copyright are being revisited in the context of a growing awareness of communication rights such as the right to information and the new challenges brought by globalization, which tends to promote private property over communal property. Privatizing or restricting common or public goods is a way of creating more commodities for sale in a globalized market aimed at maintaining a culture of consumption. George Soros, financier, philanthropist and critic of the global capitalist system, says that markets are inherently amoral, allowing people to act in self-interested ways and creating gross imbalances in the global distribution of resources, including information and knowledge. In this context, the Copy/ South Group whose collaboration in this issue of Media Development is gratefully acknowledged argues that the global South is not the economic beneficiary of market-based international copyright laws and that copyright barriers prevent access to knowledge by the global South. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is responsible for regulating trade between countries. It currently administers Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in terms of commodities that can be sold or franchised. Because ratification of TRIPS is a compulsory requirement of WTO membership, any country seeking to obtain easy access to the numerous international markets opened by the WTO must enact the strict intellectual property laws mandated by TRIPS. This ensures that no one else can challenge the market, reinforcing dominant and exclusive control. As the Copy/South Dossier underlines, since the multinationals of the North own the largest part of global intellectual property rights: The creation, expansion, and stricter enforcement of property rights, including intellectual property rights, overwhelmingly benefits those already owning property. Moreover, given that intellectual property rights extend far into the future... agreements such as TRIPS serve to reinforce patterns of wealth and inequality that will, if we do not create a counter movement, be a burden on the backs of several future generations, including those in the South. In 2004, the UN-mandated World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted a Proposal for the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO put forward by Argentina and Brazil. The proposal was strongly supported by developing countries, as well as by a large contingent representing civil society. The aim of the proposal was to make the WIPO more transparent and inclusive, allowing for the participation of a broad range of organisations and the expression of different views. As a result, WIPO s emphasis shifted from simply promoting intellectual property to including debate on access to knowledge and new technologies. But it is still not clear whether this will actually influence inter-governmental processes and their outcomes, especially in the face of challenges from the WTO. WIPO has provided a formal platform for the access to knowledge (A2K) movement, which has given momentum to a range of ideas from a proposed A2K treaty 2 to discussions about alternative incentives and models for innovation. However, the broader purpose of reshaping the international intellectual property and copyright regime should not be limited to the WIPO. This is an additional challenge to NGOs, who need to engage proactively in the debate at all levels to ensure equitable access. n Notes 1. See 2. See 2 Media Development 3/2009

5 Towards a culture of sharing The Copy/South Research Group This introduction to the concept of Copy/ South argues that the time is long overdue to look at innovations coming from the global South as models for transforming all cultures. We need to develop deeper and stronger connections between activists in the global North interested in critiquing copyright laws and those in the global South seeking the same goals. To introduce the Copy/South project, one must first introduce the concept of copyright. Copyright has a long history emerging from 18th century English law. Generally speaking, it is a legal regime that provides a limited form of monopoly protection for written and creative works fixed in a tangible (material) form. The owner of the copyright is given the exclusive or sole right to do a number of things with that work such as the following: a) to make copies of the work, for example, by photocopying it, b) to perform the work, such as a play, c) to translate the work into another language, d) to display it publicly, such as using a photograph in a magazine. And to break these property-like restrictions is copyright infringement. While originally focused upon written work, copyright has been extended and expanded over the years to include maps, artwork, music, phonographic records (and later audio tapes and now CDs), photographs, and, most recently, computer software and databases. Copyright protects the specific expression of an idea, not the idea itself, and the law in some, though not all, countries allows limited fair use or fair dealing by users of works in which the copyright is owned or held by others. Today, the law protects (and restricts) a copyrighted work for the life of the author plus 50 years in some countries or plus 70 years in others notably in Europe and the United States where most copyrighted works are produced or even longer in a few countries. It is relatively rare, however, for an author to retain rights to creative works; usually these rights are transferred (the legal word is assigned ) to a publisher or record producer in exchange for publication, royalties or a flat fee. (In the case of employees who create copyrighted works, their employer owns the copyright in most cases.) The 1960s UK rock group The Beatles did not, for example, own copyright in the songs they wrote, performed, and recorded. While originating in 18th century European law, copyright law has become international in scope. Yet, in many ways, copyright has always been an international issue. When copyright owners (as distinct from authors) in the 18th and 19th centuries were demanding protection for their work, the threat to copyright control often came from booksellers publishing cheap editions for a foreign market or importing cheap editions from abroad to compete in the domestic market. It is now conventional wisdom to acknowledge that the United States was one of the worst copyright pirates in the 19th century when it was a developing country. (The US government refused to extend copyright protection to foreign works, thereby creating a domestic market in cheap reprints of popular titles.) The creation and adoption of the European- inspired Berne Convention in 1886, which remains the leading international copyright agreement, further illustrates the importance of international protection of copyright from the 19th century forward. It is also conventional wisdom that the information age has fundamentally transformed the scope and intensity of international copyright battles. While the history of copyright is the history of copyright expansion, computer technology has radically altered the balance between copyright owners and knowledge users. First, the ease with which digital material can be copied and distributed through pirate channels has increased dramatically. Second, and perhaps more importantly, everyday consumers and users of copyrighted works are now defined as pirates and thieves as they go about sharing information, music, entertainment, and other ma- Media Development 3/2009 3

6 terials found on the Internet. (It does need to be emphasised, however, that many parts of the global South and many who live here are not plugged into the Internet as they lack computers, reliable phone lines, and electrical connectivity.) These two trends help highlight the stark differences between a culture of sharing and a culture of monopolisation and privatisation. As long-time Philippines activist Roberto Verzola explained at one of Copy/South s workshops (2005) there are two main competing value systems in the world and, in the current era, the value system of monopolisation, corporatisation, and privatisation is being imposed on what I think is a better system, a system of sharing As the economy continues to globalise and as we become further dependent upon computer technology and need information exchange ever more urgently, copyright and its assumptions have moved from a marginal place in economic and development theory to a relatively central place. The fact that copyright owners, represented by the software, music, movie, and publishing industries, have been lobbying for stricter copyright control is not new. But the past few decades have been marked by a remarkable expansion of copyright laws. TRIPS Agreement success Perhaps the most significant victories for these copyright owners was the successful negotiation and establishment of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Agreement (TRIPS), which all countries seeking to become part of the World Trade Organization were and are required to sign. When TRIPS was negotiated and came into force in 1995, it did so with considerable resistance from the global South, led by India and Brazil. From the start, it was clear to many that the TRIPS Agreement would primarily benefit already developed Northern countries far more than those in the global South. It is the multinationals of the North who already own the overwhelming percentage of global intellectual property rights (copyright, patents, trade marks and other types); the creation, expansion, and stricter enforcement of property rights, including intellectual property rights, overwhelmingly benefits those already owning property. Moreover, given that intellectual property rights extend far into the future for example, some copyright works created in 2006 will still be under copyright in 2106 and will still be bringing in revenue agreements such as TRIPS serve to reinforce patterns of wealth and inequality that will, if we do not create a counter movement, be a burden on the backs of several future generations, including those in the South. Ten years have passed since TRIPS became reality. Copyright has only increased in importance over the past ten years and the pressure to enact and enforce laws as tough as or tougher than the United States continues to mount. In fact, the US was not satisfied with the level of protection in the TRIPS agreement and has continued bilateral negotiations with many countries on all other continents to create what has come to be called TRIPS plus treaties. The more common name for such treaties is free trade agreements ; they follow a hypocritical (and contradictory) agenda of purporting to promote freer trade in monopolised goods such as patented pharmaceuticals and Hollywood blockbusters. We ask, how much free trade in Nigerian or Cuban or Chinese films occurs within the US or Europe? So it will be argued here that TRIPS and its component parts, such as the Berne Convention, have simply reproduced the types of economic inequalities associated with the earliest stages of colonialism and imperialism. We believe that a focus on the global South has been too long ignored in discussions of copyright; the Copy/South Dossier seeks to remedy this situation. The argument made by developed countries is that copyright is supposedly good for their economies so it must be good for everyone in the world. However, a one-size fits all approach is detrimental to many. It is important to recognize that many countries in the global South face poverty so severe that copyright protection is (or should be) far from an important item on their political agendas. Rather, literacy and education, poverty reduction, access to clean water and affordable food, and a variety of other needs are all more important than protecting the TRIPSestablished property rights of foreign companies. At the same time, the Dossier seeks to remain sensitive to the differences between countries in the global South, where some countries have fundamentally different priorities than others. For example, while Argentina has a wonderfully vibrant free software movement seeking to extend access to information technology via free software, most people in Kenya do not even have access to 4 Media Development 3/2009

7 a phone and Internet access is well beyond range. Or, as several participants at the Copy/South workshop from Brazil noted, the technology revolution in Brazil will not be based upon computers (desktops or laptops), but on cell phones where everything from text messages to MP3s are exchanged. This leapfrogging of technological services is in stark contrast to the situation on the ground in Zambia where almost 2/3 of the state s budget is funded by foreign sources. Thus, the similarities as well as the differences between the many countries from the global South must be recognized. Ultimately, the Copy/South Dossier seeks to provide an avenue into the serious discussions that must be held regarding copyright and development at the global level. We consistently look at copyright as a western idea being imposed on the global South. However, it is also time to look at the innovation coming from the global South as a model for transforming all cultures. Furthermore, it is time to develop deeper and stronger connections between activists in the global North interested in critiquing copyright laws and those in the global South seeking the same goals. The Copy/South project and dossier are part of what we hope will become a larger and more complex network of actors. We cannot promise and do not deliver a unified theory or single solution. Rather, what we seek to do is place a light on the global South and the problems copyright has wrought in order to not simply critique the system, but also to open the doors towards transforming the system at a global level. n Excerpted and reprinted with thanks from The Copy/South Dossier: Issues in the economics, politics, and ideology of copyright in the global South, edited by Alan Story, Colin Darch, and Debora Halbert. Researched and published by The Copy/ South Research Group May Not Restricted by Copyright. Available at address: Cross-subsidies on the Internet and on cellular networks Roberto Verzola T wo modern technologies now compete with traditional technologies for media and communications. The Internet, which became truly global in the early 1990s, is becoming the convergence point for personal communications, broadcast media, publishing, entertainment, information storage and retrieval, digital products distribution, financial transactions, education, social networking, and other applications. The cellular phone was commercialized even earlier, with the first analog units being introduced in the 1970s. However, it was only when the technology turned digital and cellphone sets became more affordable, also in the 1990s, that cellular phone usage exploded. Today, there are probably even more cellphone users than Internet users, although the range of applications for cellular technology is narrower compared to the Internet due to bandwidth, screen and keyboard limitations dictated by mobility considerations. Thanks to the increasing power and decreasing cost of digital electronics, these two modern technologies have been gradually overtaking if not actually threatening to replace more traditional technologies like landline phones, hand-held radios, cable (messages and television), broadcast stations (radio and TV), newspapers, magazines, fax, and so on. The Internet, in addition, enjoys a huge advantage over other technologies due to the relative absence of government regulations and bureaucratic requirements compared to, say, broadcast media. Among development agencies, many have embraced the Internet and cellphones because of their promise to democratize communications. In the past, the poor (countries, sectors, communities and Media Development 3/2009 5

8 families) have tended to remain poor partly because of lack of access to information and knowledge. Development agencies believed that access to necessary know-how as well as know-what, know-where and know-why was a key to poverty reduction. Internet and cellular technologies are therefore being sold to governments and the public partly on the promise of improving access to educational services, job opportunities, as well as market information. It is widely acknowledged that for these technologies to deliver their promise of access for the poor, they must be affordable. Especially for the poor, price is probably the single most important consideration in the decision to embrace or not a technology, second only to actual need. Indeed, in the past few years, prices of equipment as well as usage fees have gone down significantly, in some cases. In the past, the goal of making access affordable for the poor has led governments to actually create mechanisms for subsidizing such access. For a long time, for instance, international long-distance telephone communications were charged much higher rates than local phone calls, reflecting this policy of making economically better-off users subsidize the worse-off. Some governments required postal, telecommunications, and phone companies to serve missionary areas usually the more remote, poorer regions of the country and still charge the same rate. In these areas, the last-mile costs were higher than standard costs because more resources were needed to provide the same level of service. In effect, users in these missionary areas were being charged lower per unit resource, another form of subsidy. Such crosssubsidies in favour of the poor were often implemented likewise in the transportation, energy and other industries deemed essential to poverty reduction. Free market advocates assert that by allowing private firms to take over and set prices competitively with minimum of government intervention, we will eventually end up with the most efficient system for everybody. With the dominance of this kind of thinking, many governments were convinced or, in some cases, pressured by lenders to privatize and deregulate the telecommunications industry and to abandon earlier cross-subsidies, letting firms instead to freely determine their most profitable pricing schemes under a competitive market system. After years of such deregulated fine-tuning of telecommunication pricing schemes, it is interesting to see what we have ended up with. The case of the Internet The most common topology of the current global Internet infrastructure is the hub-and-spokes layout. The hubs represent centers of very high connectivity in terms of connection speed, user density and usage intensity. Today, the global hubs are the United States and the European Union, with perhaps Japan or Singapore playing a junior role in Asia. The spokes represent connections to the hub by countries in the periphery. The logic of the technology leads countries who want access to the Internet to get this access directly from the hubs, rather than from their neighbours. The same hub-and-spokes pattern tends to repeat itself in every country, where the Internet service providers (ISPs) in major cities become the hubs of the network, and ISPs in towns and minor cities connect to these hubs like spokes on a wheel. In infrastructure terms, such a connection usually involves additional ports on the part of the hub, a dedicated leased line or channel in a microwave, undersea cable or satellite link, and the associated servers, routers and other hardware. The Internet has grown and spread through the emergence of smaller hubs, which grow their own spokes, repeating the hub-and-spokes pattern in fractal fashion. Note that such growth is beneficial to the network as a whole. The peripheral ISPs gain their Internet connection and make their profit from new users. The ISPs on the hubs and other existing spokes enjoy additional profit from the increased traffic between existing users and the new users. The increase in the overall value of the network is typically greater than the increase in the size of the network. This sysnergistic effect, where the final result is greater than the sum of its parts, has been called the network effect. However, the hub-and-spokes pattern of the Internet is not only a network topology. It is also a diagram of power relationships. The hub controls access to the Internet and offers it for a price; the periphery is eager to get access to the Internet and is ready to pay the price. Unfortunately, the typical result of this asymmetric power relationship is that, in addition to subscription fees, the periphery pays for the full cost of the connection to the hub including the cost of the port, the dedicated 6 Media Development 3/2009

9 link, and the various associated hardware. And the periphery does so, even if both hub and periphery stand to benefit from such a new connection. It may be argued that, aside from the new port, dedicated link and associated hardware, the hub has to further expand its facilities in order the handle the increased traffic. However, it is not only the hub that must do so. Peripheral ISPs must likewise invest in facilities, aside from the new port, dedicated link and associated hardware, in order to handle the traffic demand from their new users. Yet, while it shares the benefits, the hub does not share in the burden of cost of the new connection, which is typically shouldered entirely by the peripheral ISPs. In an ironic reversal of the policies of a previous era, the periphery which is usually poorer than the center is now forced to subsidize the growth of the Internet. This is not the only cross-subsidy that can be found on the Internet. Let us look at another one. Consider a user, let us call it a local user, who sends a one-megabyte file to a subscriber on the same ISP. Then, consider on the other hand another user on the same ISP, let us call it a global user, who, using a similar service as the first user, sends an identical one-megabyte file to someone else on the opposite side of the globe. Given the way Internet user pricing structures have evolved, and assuming they are subscribed to a similar service, local users will usually be charged the same fee as the global user. That is just the way it is on the Internet. Yet, the local user would have used very little network resources. From her mailbox, the 1-Mb file will simply be transferred to her contact s mailbox, possibly on the same harddisk or at worst on another harddisk on the same local network. The global user s 1-Mb file, on the other hand, would have to leave the local network, pass through a series of routers and communication channels, including possibly microwave connections, undersea cables, or satellite links, and more routers at the receiving end until it reaches the ISP of his contact, on his mailbox, on the other side of the globe. Thus, on the Internet, local users in every country are being charged much higher rates per unit of network resource, compared to global users. Those who use the Internet mainly for localized matters and business are actually subsidizing those who use it for global matters and business. This is, in effect, a built-in subsidy for globalization. As the Internet grows and expands into the remotest corners of the globe, regardless of network topology, this wellentrenched charging scheme which ignores network distance forces local users, usually the less well-off, to subsidize the global users, usually the more well-off. Sadly, the resulting global village appears to be founded on a fundamentally unfair scheme of forcing the locally-active to subsidize the globally-active. Are cellphone charging schemes any better in this regard? In fact, a similar local-national crosssubsidy operates among cellular networks. Voice calls or text messages between users connected to the same cell site are charged no differently from voice calls or texts that pass through many cell sites and therefore use more cellular network resources. This likewise forces those who are active locally to subsidize those who are active nationally. This local-national cross-subsidy may not be as bad as a local-global cross-subsidy, but it is the same fundamentally unfair arrangement that enables nation-spanning cellular calls to enjoy relatively cheaper rates per unit resource compared to local calls. But there s more. Let us take the case of the Philippines, currently touted to be the texting capital of the world. Text messaging in the Philippines At one peso per text message (PhP48=US$1), SMS messaging is the most affordable form of local communication for the Filipino poor. SMS traffic has eclipsed voice traffic and become the major source of profit for cellular companies. Voice calls, on the other hand, which are used more often by the welloff, are charged a much less affordable nine pesos per minute (six pesos among locked-in post-paid subscribers). For context, remember that the minimum wage (actual, not the legal minimum which is often ignored) is around 150 pesos in rural areas and 250 pesos in the major urban centers, give or take 50 pesos. Let us now consider the network resources used by SMS and voice messages. The most important network resource to be considered is the bandwidth consumption, because bandwidth is the scarcest commodity in a cellular network. Bandwidth consumption can roughly be measured by the time needed for a channel to send or receive a voice or text signal. Let us do some back-of-the-envelope calculations. Assuming that roughly 50% of a voice call dura- Media Development 3/2009 7

10 tion actually consists of silent portions, then a oneminute call costing nine pesos (or 900 centavos) uses up 30 seconds of actual bandwidth. This boils down to thirty centavos per second of bandwidth for voice calls. Assuming a GSM unit with 9.6kbps data rate (roughly 960 chars/sec), a one-second bandwidth can handle at most six 160-character text messages costing one peso each. That is six pesos per second of bandwidth for text messages, compared to thirty centavos for voice calls, or a twenty-to-one bias in favour of voice calls. Note that the calculation is robust to an order of magnitude. Assuming that cellular companies are also making a profit from voice calls, then a fair SMS pricing scheme should only be charging five centavos, not one peso, per text message! In fact, one can further argue that text messages should be charged at even lower rates than this, because their use of storeand-forward technology with its inherent delays is much less demanding of network resources than the real-time requirements of voice calls which cannot tolerate more than a few milliseconds of delay. The poor may have become the main market for text messaging in the Philippines because they can afford the one peso charge per text message. But text messaging should even be more affordable to the poor, if cellular companies balanced more fairly the profit margins they make from texters and the margins they make from the voice callers. One can also take issue with the nine-peso per minute voice calls charged buyers of pre-paid cards, a rate that is 50% higher compared to the six-peso per minute voice calls charged regular post-paid subscribers. Again, the type of subscription is differentiated according to income status. The poor are mostly pre-paid card buyers, while the postpaid monthly subscribers are mostly well-off. In fact, the accounting, collection and finance costs incurred by cellular companies for their post-paid subscribers should be higher than similar costs for their pre-paid clients for the following reasons: (1) Pre-paid clients have to pay the full cost of the pre-paid card before they can even use a single minute. In contrast, post-paid clients use the service first, and pay later. Hence pre-paid users carry the burden of any financing costs, while cellular companies carry the financing costs for their post-paid subscribers. (2) The detailed calling history of pre-paid clients does not have to be recorded. They are at the mercy of cellular companies as far as billing issues are concerned. Their service charges, valid or not, are automatically deducted from their online balance. They have no way to check for billing accuracy, and no basis for making billing complaints. No billing statements have to be printed and mailed or sent by courier. No follow up reminders for payment need be sent. Post-paid subscribers on the other hand require a detailed history of their calls to be recorded, printed out and mailed to them. They can complain about and delay payments for questionable billings. They can schedule their payments according to their own convenience, weeks after they have used the services they are being charged for. (3) It may be argued that cellular firms have to go through the pre-paid card distribution networks and that this entails a large overhead, which then causes the huge differential in charging rates between pre-prepaids and post-paids. However, similar physical distribution networks have been implemented for newspapers and other retail products, and these have not created a twenty-to-one differential in charging rates, compared to direct customers. Finally, comparing the voice call charge for prepaid clients of nine-peso per minute with international direct-dialling calls to distant destinations like the U.S., which may go as low as four pesos per minute, reveals how far the pendulum of crosssubsidies has swung in favour of global players. While the Philippine case may not be universal, it is being held up as a success story in opening up access by the poor to telecommunications. It is not far-fetched that other developing countries will follow a similar model of expansion and charging. Unbalanced and unfair It appears, therefore, that the two most promising technologies of the new century for providing universal access the Internet and cellular networks are founded on fundamentally unfair pricing structures and charging schemes, under which poorer users are forced to subsidize the telecommunications expenses of the richer users. Even while the charges levied on all users are becoming more affordable, the poor are prevented from enjoying the abundance in full because they are forced to carry costs that, if these were fairly apportioned, should be shouldered by more well-off users. Whether such an unfair system can serve 8 Media Development 3/2009

11 as the solid foundation for the telecommunications infrastructures of the 21st century is, in fact, just one of a number of questions that can be raised about these modern networks. What if, as has been argued elsewhere, such unfairness is actually a deeply-embedded bias of these technologies, so that we cannot import them without importing their biases too? What if older, more stable technologies can also move us forward in terms of facilitating access to knowledge, perhaps not as dramatically as the Internet and cellular networks can, but without the unfair bias that seems built into these two modern technologies? Aside from private ownership by cyberspace rentiers, are there other ownership structures better suited to the principal goal of ensuring fair, affordable access by all? These and other questions must remain open for further public discernment, debate and resolution, before we can settle on the appropriate technologies that will form the foundations of the information, communications and knowledge infrastructures of the new century. n References Cukier, Kenneth Neil, (1999). Bandwidth Colonialism? The Implications of Internet Infrastructure on International E-Commerce. CommunicationsWeek International, France. htm (last accessed July 3, 2009) Houston, Geoff, (1999). Interconnection, Peering and Settlements. Telstra, Australia. edu/~jrex/teaching/spring2005/reading/huston99.pdf (last accessed July 3, 2009). Lin, Yi-Bing and Imrich Chlamtac, (2001). Wireless and Mobile Network Architectures. Wiley Computer Publishing, New York. Odlyzko, Andrew., (1998). The economics of the Internet: Utility, utilization, pricing, and Quality of Service. AT&T Labs Research. doc/internet.economics.pdf (last accessed July 3, 2009) Schumacher, E.F. (1979). Good Work. Jonathan Cape Ltd., London. Verzola, Roberto, (2004). Towards a Political Economy of Information. Constantino Foundation, Quezon City. Roberto Verzola is an engineer who is also a social activist. He is the author of the book Towards a Political Economy of Information (2004). His current involvements include the Philippine Greens, Halalang Marangal (Network of Citizens for Honest Elections and Truthful Statistics), SRI-Pilipinas, and the Bulletin Board. He is also a part-time consultant with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). He can be reached at Cuál es la forma ideal para construir y circular conocimiento? Carolina Botero Cabrera y Julio César Gaitán Bohórquez La idea de todos los derechos reservados, cuando nos referimos a la circulación de bienes del intelecto (tanto inventos como productos culturales), se encuentra tan arraigada en la forma como disfrutamos, usamos o circulamos estos bienes, que para muchos es difícil pensar en otras maneras de aproximarse a los mismos. Es esta sensación de que no hay otra forma de hacer las cosas la que da protagonismo a este sistema jurídico, pero la verdad es que suceden muchas cosas en paralelo, hay ejemplos excepcionales de altruismo individual y prácticas sociales de colectivos que muestran otras opciones. El área de diagnostico médico se soporta en gran medida en las investigaciones y avances que durante el siglo XIX hicieron, en materia de radiación, los esposos Curie y más tarde en los desarrollos de los rayos X de Wilhem Rontgen. Estos científicos coinciden en varias situaciones de su vida entre las que destacamos el hecho de que ganaron el premio Nobel, no querían que sus nombres se vincularan como forma de denominación de sus hallazgos y se negaron a registrar sus desarrollos científicos como una fuente de beneficio exclusivo e individual. Tanto los unos como el otro mantuvieron la idea de que los resultados de sus investigaciones Media Development 3/2009 9

12 pertenecían a la humanidad, en una posición que si bien denota una aproximación individual, también es resultado de su pertenencia a una comunidad con normas culturales propias, la científica. Precisamente respecto de Rontgen se ha recordado que: era tradición en la universidad alemana que los descubrimientos de los profesores pertenecían a la humanidad y no debían ser ni controlados, ni patentados, ni limitados, 1 de modo que los Rayos X nunca fueron patentados por él, pero tampoco por las empresas privadas que en algún momento pensaron en hacerlo y que en principio hubieran podido. Debemos mencionar que la patente se otorga al primero que la solicite. Se han dado casos en los que alguien se aprovecha del invento de otro registrando su patente para obtener así el privilegio de explotación. Se cree entonces que las empresas en cuestión seguramente no patentaron porque la norma social haría de tal conducta algo muy mal visto, aunque era legalmente posible nadie se atrevió a incumplir el precepto de la costumbre social. Durante el mismo periodo, en Francia surgió el Daguerrotipo como resultado de las investigaciones de Louis Daguerre y Joseph Nicephore Niepse, que se considera como una etapa crucial en el proceso de la fotografía. En este caso, el invento si se patentó, pero llamó la atención de un funcionario del gobierno Francés quien consiguió que el Estado otorgara a sus titulares una pensión vitalicia a cambio de que el proceso fuera compartido con el mundo un regalo de Francia para el mundo. La vida del Daguerrotipo fue muy corta y parece que esto se debe en gran medida al hecho de que haya sido disponible para todos. Su amplia difusión, de un lado, disparó su uso popularizándolo (todos querían una imagen de esas) y, de otro, permitió que cualquiera lo mejorara. Un detalle adicional que quizás justifique mencionar es que este regalo de Francia para el mundo excluyó a Inglaterra, porque justo 5 días antes de que se verificara el acuerdo entre Francia y los inventores se patentó el Daguerrotipo en Inglaterra por lo que este se mantuvo en la lógica de control en ese territorio. La propiedad intelectual protagonista en el escenario del siglo XX Los derechos que surgen para el titular responden a un pacto entre la sociedad y el autor, la sociedad concede el monopolio sobre determinados usos del producto al inventor o autor con el fin de buscar una garantía de remuneración pero lo sujeta a un plazo de modo que ese producto intelectual retorne a la sociedad. El alcance de este monopolio y las variables a las que se sujeta la protección determinan las primeras diferencias entre inventos patentables y obras protegidas por derecho de autor El siglo XX atestigua procesos en los que se busca arrastrar el diseño legal de la propiedad inmaterial hacia los ámbitos de la propiedad absoluta convirtiéndose en eje de un conflicto con claras consecuencias económicas. 2 Uno de los argumentos a los que se recurre es el de la exigencia de igualdad entre la propiedad material y la inmaterial porque, no puede haber un buen caso cuando se trata en forma desfavorable el trabajo del espíritu y de la mente. 3 La búsqueda por la igualdad se realiza mediante reformas legislativas. Inicialmente a través de tratados internacionales tanto en materia de propiedad industrial (uno de sus ejes es las patentes) como de derecho de autor, posteriormente a través de compromisos adquiridos en organismos internacionales relacionados con comercio y últimamente a través de las obligaciones que se derivan de negociaciones bilaterales en los llamados Tratados de Libre Comercio. La tendencia es sobre todo el resultado de una política general que buscaba proteger particularmente las industrias (del entretenimiento y software principalmente) de Estados Unidos, que aportan a través del PIB una buena parte de los ingresos de esa nación en forma de regalías, dejando ya un poco de lado al individuo que las justificaba en primer lugar y olvidando esquemas de equilibrio para con la sociedad por favorecer a quienes se ven representados en esa industria. En consecuencia durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX hay una efectiva implementación de esta política norteamericana de protección de su industria en las legislaciones locales del resto del mundo que se ven obligadas a implementarlas por fuerza de la negociación asimétrica y por que se mantiene vigente como protagonista la justificación loable de buscar la remuneración del creador e incentivar creatividad e innovación. De esta manera durante las últimas décadas se desarrollaron ampliamente los privilegios en torno a la propiedad intelectual, se ampliaron plazos de protección. 4 se aumentaron las obras sobre las que recaen los beneficios, se ex- 10 Media Development 3/2009

13 tendieron los mecanismos de criminalización, etc. La consecuencia del reforzamiento del régimen legal con miras a la protección y control de los titulares, tiene por lo menos un efecto negativo para el sistema: se trata del acorralamiento del dominio público. Si se refuerza la propiedad intelectual la consecuencia es que se complica o al menos retarda el paso de los productos protegidos del estado de protección al de no protección creando un escenario en el que el acervo que alimenta la innovación y creatividad en las artes y la ciencia no está siendo alimentado, con incidencia y efectos directos sobre la construcción del conocimiento. El dominio público está acorralado por las normas del derecho de autor La idea positiva que se asocia y deduce del término dominio público vincula el concepto con bienes que son de todos. El dominio público es central para fortalecer los aspectos del interés público que deben equilibrar el sistema jurídico de propiedad intelectual 5 en la medida en que ofrece un importante conjunto de recursos para la inspiración de autores e inventores. Esta institución es fundamental para la creatividad y la innovación, al menos tanto como la protección. Sin embargo, la consecuencia de que las obras en el dominio público tengan ese potencial como inspiración en potencia también pueden ser apropiadas por los individuos que, sobre su nueva versión o invento se hacen acreedores individualmente a la protección de la propiedad intelectual. La idea de dominio público responde a las necesidades y potencial de uso y reutilización de contenidos culturales y científicos que la tecnología de hoy transforma en interesantes herramientas de democratización del conocimiento y que por cuenta de una excesiva protección pueden ser objeto de apropiación particular. El dominio público se presenta entonces como una solución para recuperar el equilibrio del sistema jurídico reforzándose para ampliar el acervo común de la humanidad. 6 A esta aproximación al dominio público, sin embargo, le son aplicables algunas de las críticas 7 que se le dirigen al modelo de derecho de autor, en tanto que la construcción del concepto de dominio público está atada a la misma base ideológica que ignora otras visiones culturales no soportadas en la idea de control individual presente en la de propiedad intelectual. Esta preocupación frente al dominio público está en el origen las licencias libres. El diseño del copyleft como elemento central de la licencia GNU- GPL, del software libre 8 se sustenta en gran medida en el temor que identifica Stallman de apropiación de una cultura por unos individuos que no comparten sus valores cuando los resultados de la producción intelectual circulan como dominio público. Richard Stallman se niega a soportar sus desarrollos en cesiones al dominio público como lo hicieran en la misma época quienes desarrollaban el Berkeley System Distribution (que circula con la licencia conocida como BSD), porque el discurso del Software Libre se construye jurídicamente no sólo como rechazo al que identifica propiedad privada con derecho de autor sino también en contra de la posibilidad de apropiación que es característica del dominio público. De acuerdo con Stallman el software en el dominio público es software libre [sin embargo] cualquiera puede hacer una versión modificada y propietaria de él, 9 la posibilidad de que el software en un esquema de dominio público sea apropiado es una preocupación porque su interés primordial es garantizar para todos libertades a la hora de su distribución. Con fundamento en lo anterior para Stallman fue preocupación central a la hora de diseñar la licencia evitar que cualquiera mejorara un programa de su autoría y lo redistribuya controlando los usos del mismo, apropiándose de la nueva versión. Stallman ha indicado que la finalidad del diseño de la licencia de software libre es precisamente evitar la tentación de la gente de aprovechar la libertad del dominio público para hacer mejoras que no regresarán al colectivo. 10 Licenciar el software para perder el control y permitir la construcción colectiva del conocimiento, la opción del software libre Frente a la legislación que esencialmente evidencia un modelo económico predominante de circulación del conocimiento, que se viene construyendo desde hace ya varios siglos en la dicotomía protección/no protección, las comunidades que responden a otras lógicas de circulación construyen y desarrollan sus propias prácticas y normas que siguen y respetan. De esta forma Fauchart y Von Hippel 11 han reportado el ejemplo de los chefs de Paris y sus recetas que legalmente están en el dominio público, pero Media Development 3/

14 para las que han creado lo que ellos denominan normas consuetudinarias basadas en el sistema de propiedad intelectual, que son aplicadas y reconocidas colectivamente por los miembros de esa comunidad. Si bien preocupa la forma como se habla de propiedad intelectual como base ideológica de estas prácticas documentadas, es interesante ver cómo los autores establecen un contexto de validez para las mismas a pesar de que no estén respaldadas por un marco jurídico concreto y que incluso se hable de que normas similares pueden rastrearse en diversas comunidades en las que algunas prácticas de intercambio de información y normas sociales que hemos documentado entre chefs de cocina consumados suenan similares a las normas documentadas por los académicos en las comunidades de científicos. Este tipo de análisis en comunidades concretas se repite en la literatura como el caso que ha documentado Jacob Loshin para los magos respecto de sus trucos de magia, 12 por fuera del sistema legal las comunidades vienen generando, construyendo y respetando sus propias normas de construcción del conocimiento. En este entorno una preocupación recurrente es la del conocimiento que se produce en las comunidades indígenas y desde allí son varios las aproximaciones que se han dado como la de Seeger 13 que desmantela una serie de presupuestos erróneos del derecho de autor cuando se enfrenta a ellas. Seeger enumera una multiplicidad de ópticas y puntos pendientes de debate en el contexto de la música folclórica en la lectura de los investigadores, los archivos que la custodian e incluso su transición a una producción musical que se comercializa, para proponer una serie de recomendaciones 14 que pueden ser adoptadas por los investigadores y archivos con el fin de disminuir el impacto de la posible apropiación de estas músicas por culturas que las aprovecharían. Finalmente, terminemos el texto en la forma como se dio inicio, la comunidad científica en el siglo XIX muestra que prioriza los lineamientos de construcción de conocimiento de su comunidad por fuera de los de las normas legales e incluso vimos a un Estado aprovechar esas lógicas de la comunidad para disponer de recursos públicos con los que abrir el conocimiento para favorecer un impacto en la creatividad e innovación. Todos estos antecedentes mencionados nos sirven también para tomar una fotografía más amplia del contexto del software libre y afirmar que se trata de una manifestación de una cultura propia de la comunidad de desarrolladores de software que en un entorno académico buscó aplicar sus lógicas de construcción de conocimiento en un contexto globalizado. Podemos entonces afirmar que el gran éxito del software libre es darle dientes a las prácticas de una comunidad. El diseño del copyleft consigue enmarcar en las lógicas legales de la protección un sistema jurídico alternativo que favorece la creación colectiva propia de esta comunidad, incluso se atreve a desafiar los temores de la no-protección a través de garantizar con la licencia la imposibilidad de que otros, no necesariamente dispuestos a respetar lógicas comunitarias de construcción colectiva de conocimiento, queden obligados por el esquema legal de protección a hacerlo. El gran reto ahora es conseguir que esta aproximación de la comunidad de desarrolladores de software libre consiga mantener su mente abierta hacia una gran diversidad de formas de construcción del conocimiento evitando la tentación de asumir posiciones facilistas que no reconocen la diversidad de aproximaciones culturales en la circulación y construcción del conocimiento, que consiga entender la necesidad de apoyar otras opciones que no necesariamente se soportan en los presupuestos legales que han adaptado para sí mismos en donde conviven lógicas individuales y públicas para también reconocer la existencia de otras miradas como las de las culturas indígenas en donde la idea de colectivo adquiere otro nivel. Contra la idea imperante en la cultura occidental de circular los resultados del trabajo intelectual bajo esquemas de control individual las bases del diagnóstico médico y seguramente mucho de la velocidad en su desarrollo posterior, se deben a una cultura científica que prefería otras lógicas colectivas de construcción del conocimiento. Por otro lado, el regalo de Francia para el mundo pudo agilizar el proceso de desarrollo de la fotografía y se soportó en la decisión de un Estado de favorecer el acceso de la ciencia a todos y, de esta forma, aprovechar las posibilidades y velocidad de la construcción colectiva del conocimiento. Hoy en día el éxito del modelo de construcción colectiva de conocimiento que el software libre ha logrado desarrollar utilizando lógicas similares es incontestable y ha sido amplia- 12 Media Development 3/2009

15 mente estudiado reconociendo que su soporte está esencialmente en un diseño legal que apoya un método de compartir que se concretó inicialmente en la forma como se desarrolló Linux. 15 n Notas 1. En la forma como aparece citado en 2. Este tema se aborda en detalle en: LESSIG, Lawrence, Free Culture, how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity, The Penguin Press, New York 2004, capitulo 10. También se puede revisar el guión de la presentación de Manuel Castells en el Foro Social Mundial, Porto Alegre 29 de enero 2005, INNOVACION, LIBERTAD Y PODER EN LA ERA DE LA INFORMACION., que está disponible en, última visita el 30 de Mayo de Helprin, Mark, A great idea lives for ever, shouldn t its copyright, 2007, The New York Times, se encuentra en com/2007/05/20/opinion/20helprin.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5 124&en= d77055f41&ex= &partner=permal ink&exprod=permalink 4. Es reconocido el caso del Sony Bono Act de 1998 en EEUU, en esta norma se ampliaron los plazos de protección del Copyright, detrás de esta reforma estuvo el gran lobby de Disney que necesitaba un cambio de esa naturaleza ante el evidente vencimiento del plazo de protección de Mickey Mouse. En cuanto a patentes si bien no hay un consenso sobre su extensión los TLC incluyen nuevas etapas dentro del procedimiento de otorgamiento de las mismas que pueden llegar a extender en varios años la protección efectiva. 5. Lessig Against perpetual copyright wiki, como aparece en 6. Como lo promueve para el tema de derecho de autor Lawrence Lessig: LESSIG, Lawrence. Code, and other laws from cyberspace, Basic Books, 1999, NY 7. Hardison, Preston, Indigenous Peoples and the Commons, On the Commons, Noviembre, El elemento novedoso incluido en la Licencia GNU GPL (corresponde al inglés GNU General Public License, Licencia Pública General) por Stallman fue precisamente el que se conoce como Copyleft en sentido estricto, es la figura que obliga a que quien distribuya código fuente modificando el que está protegido por la Licencia a Licenciarlo a su turno en los mismos términos, es decir liberando el código fuente. Se puede profundizar en el tema en GOMULKIEWICZ, R W (1999), How Copyleft uses Licence Rights to Succeed in the Open Source Software Revolution and the Implications for Article 2B, [Spring 1999] Houston Law Review 179, p Stallman, Stallman, Richard, entrevista con Byte, conducida por David Beltz y Jon Edwards, julio Puede consultarse en: org/gnu/byte-interview.html. 11. Fauchart, Emmanuelle y Von Hippel, Eric. Norms-based intellectual property systems: the Case of French chefs, MIT Sloan School of Management, Working Paper , Puede consultarse en vonhippelfauchart2006.pdf 12. Loshin, Jacob, Secrets revealed, How magicians protect Intellectual Property without law, 2007, Social Science Research Network, disponible en cfm?abstract_id= Seeger, Anthony, Ethnomusicology and music law, Society for Ethnomusicology, Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Seeger, Anthony, I found it how can I use it?, dealling with the ethical and legal constraints of Information Access, IS- MIR, Keynote Speech, Disponible en 15. Tuomi, Ilkka, Networks of Innovation, especialmente el capitulo 10 Learning from Linux, 2002, Oxford University Press, Helsinki Carolina Botero Cabrera es abogada colombiana de la Universidad del Rosario, Maestría en Derecho Internacional y Comparado (1993, VUB - Bélgica), Maestría en Derecho del Comercio y la Contratación (2006, UAB - España), Candidata a Doctorado (UAB - España), pasantías de investigación en UCal en Berkeley y Unilecce en Italia. Asesora externa en temas de derecho y tecnología. Investiga temas en los que convergen tecnología, derecho, educación y sociedad. Co-lider Creative Commons para Colombia. Miembro de la Fundación Karisma y del grupo de investigación CopySouth. Blog: Julio Cesar Gaitán Bohórquez, Abogado de la Universidad del Rosario, Magíster en Derecho Público de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (2000), Doctor en Sociología Jurídica de la Universidad de Lecce (Italia 2006). Investigador invitado en el Instituto Max Planck de Frankfurt (Alemania 2002). Profesor de Historia del Derecho en la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (España ). Visiting Scholar en la Universidad de California en Berkeley (EEUU 2007). Ex Magistrado Auxiliar Corte Constitucional (2007). Trabaja temas de Historia del Derecho y Derecho Constitucional. Ha escrito varios artículos en revistas nacionales e internacionales. Autor del libro Huestes de Estado (Universidad del Rosario 2002) Media Development 3/

16 Differing traditions of cultural creation in the South Copy/South Dossier One of the central assumptions of Western copyright law and ideology is that the creation of stories or songs or artistic works requires a single author who conjures up works of literature or music or art through a stroke of individual genius. Such works are unique and original, it is claimed, and this approach to creativity, it is further claimed, is a universal one. First and foremost, such works must be commodities that are owned and produced for sale in the national and international marketplace. Hence, the need for a global copyright regime to protect authors and their individual copyrights because well, that s the way it s done in the West. Yet all across the global South there are many radically different traditions of creativity. Some stretch back many centuries. Others are widespread across entire regions, while others are more localised. Here are some examples, put together in no particular order and in rather eclectic fashion, which give a few artistic snapshots rather than providing a comprehensive picture. The story teller of Peshawar 1 The chattering comes to an intuitive halt; the room becomes motionless and an eerie silence envelops the air. Khan Baba steps in, unaided even in his old age, he is the embodiment of a proud Pathan. 2 A pristine white beard flows from a face, wrinkled through age and physical hardship; his eyes though are a testament to his blazing spirit. A word is yet to be spoken; Khan Baba instead relies on his eyes to relay warmth. The bustling market seems to have sensed the occasion, the buses and the rickshaws seem no longer to be there. Khan Baba finally greets his audience, orders some tea and gets into an inane conversation with those around him; a veteran of the art, he teases the anxious audience. Finally he begins; it is going to be a story of passion and love, war and death, with a smile he adds about all the good things in life. This is the story of a story-teller, Khan Baba, who belongs to a dying breed of men, anxious to hold on to the last remnants of their heritage storytelling. They ply their trade in the Qissa-Kahani 3 Bazaar, in Peshawar, Pakistan, which is located on the border with Afghanistan and which has, for centuries, served as the bridge between Central Asia, Persia, and India. It is in Peshawar that traders and travellers, men of science and men of war, travelling through the Khyber Pass and the Silk Route have stopped and relayed their stories for hundreds of years in tea shops dotted around the Bazaar. These tea shops are a relic to a bygone era, but even today they serve as an ancient repository of stories and memoirs. Khan Baba recalls the story of his grandfather who would die fighting the British in a bid to retain the smallest piece of land in the whole region. This story of valour will probably never be written, not that Khan Baba would mind such a thing. He simply chooses not to care. To him a story can never simply be read, it must be listened to and then passed on through the generations. When it comes to these stories, there is no concept of ownership or of uniqueness; there is however a concept of sharing one s experiences and of imparting knowledge; for these stories are considered to be the collective wisdom of the Pathans. The story tellers consider themselves to be guardians of an ancient tradition, and by recalling the stories of their lives, and the lives of their forefathers, they keep their history alive. Australian aborigines Many different cultures and civilisations strongly believe that knowledge is something to be shared amongst all people and should not be confined to those who can afford to gain knowledge. The Australian Aborigines, for 14 Media Development 3/2009

17 Woman at work by Sumaryanto bronto (Indonesia), one of the prize-winning entries in the WACC Photo Competition 2009 on the theme Portraying Gender. The photo shows Purwatiyem, a mother of two, mining sand. example, have no Western concept of originality. In aboriginal culture, art is not defined by originality, no matter how distinct it may be, but by the correct representation of ancestral traditions, known as the Dreaming. 4 The stories which constitute the Dreaming carry the truth from the past together with the code of Law, which operates in the present. The Dreaming consists of the natural world, especially the land or county to which a person belongs, and hence it is the person who belongs to the Dreaming and not the dreaming to the person. In our ceremonies we wear marks on our bodies, they come from the dreaming too, we carry the design that the Dreamings gave to us. When we wear that Dreaming mark we are carrying the country, we are keeping the Dreaming held up, we are keeping the country and the Dreaming alive. 5 The Masai warriors of East Africa The philosophy of a collective pooling of knowledge through storytelling is shared by the Masai warriors of the African savannah. The Masai, like the Pathans do not seek to commodify knowledge and profit from its ownership. Rather, it is much more important that their stories are remembered and survive, even when they do not. This concept of authorship has evolved over thousands of years and has become an important vestige of Masai heritage. It is only the story that can continue beyond the war and the warrior. It is the story that outlives the sound of war-drums and the exploits of brave fighters. It is the story that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it, we are blind. Does the blind man own his es- Media Development 3/

18 cort? No, neither do we the story; rather it is the story that owns us and directs us. 6 Algerian raï music The artist and the inventor often proceed from the work of predecessors. A good example of this type of artistic continuity is Algerian raï music. (Other examples are traditional and popular music cultures such as calypso, samba, and rap from Latin America and the Caribbean.) In writing about raï music, Bouziane Daoudi and Hadj Miliani emphasise that the same theme may know as many variations as there are performers. The base is shared knowledge, which refers less to a repertoire of existing texts but more to a whole of social signs, such as el mérioula, el mehna, el minoun, and e har. 7 Raï has no true author in the Western copyright sense of the term of authorship. Until some years ago and before it entered the Western market, the singers borrowed songs or choruses from each other. The public added words spontaneously to a song. Theft, pillage, and plagiarism of texts do not exist as far as these singers, known as the chebs and the chebete, are concerned. It is a form of music that depends heavily on influences from the immediate circumstances, period, place, or audience. Bouziane Daoudi and Hadj Miliani describe the raï as a continuum of a strongly perturbed social imagination. 8 African music Even when copyrights are applied in many non- Western cultures, it soon becomes clear that the ideology sustaining the system does not work when you consider the complexity of the creative process. In the Western world, there exists a sharp division between the composer and the performer in the case of music. This is not so, however, in African music, which according to John Collins, is usually associated with many more aspects than only the music. Thus, in this case, royalty-accruing components should, in the name of creative equity, be divided into four: the lyrics, the melody, the rhythm and the dance-step with the melody further divided into various contrapuntal or cross melodies and the polyrhythm into its multiple sub-rhythms. 9 However, this is not all: in African performing arts the audiences often have a creative role too, as they chant, clap and perform dance-dialogues with the musicians. Obviously all of these elements change for every performance and, as a result, every performance is changed. It is clear that the individual allocation of copyrights cannot work. After all, how does one measure the degree (and value) of originality in a continually reworked piece of music? 10 The literature of China and Japan Asian countries such as China and Japan both have long literary traditions in which copyright played no part. As one US intellectual property lawyer put it, in Asian cultures, inventions are freely disclosed, copying is a high form of flattery, and the individual is subservient to the community. 11 The title of a book by William P. Alford captures the same sense: To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offence: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization. 12 Here, for example, is one view of the traditional Chinese approach. Since all artists are considered in Confucian philosophy to be a special breed within humanity, the ideals of originality must surely be universal. Are we then to say that someone who muses that I transmit rather than create; I believe in, and love, the ancients is not worthy of being an artist? This is a saying of Confucius 13 and it would be hard to deny that he was a creative genius or his work not worthy of being an original literary work. In traditional Chinese literature citing the ancients is the very method of universal speech 14 and the reproduction and copying of already existing work never had the same dark connotations as it had in Europe or the United States. The same is true in Chinese painting and calligraphy. The artistic process was viewed as a spiritual one and the commodification of knowledge is a notion that is simply unacceptable in the Chinese tradition. 15 Another commentator explains that inventing a product or authoring a work of art, is an accomplishment of the family and the community, and is expected to be shared. Advancing, learning, and creating works are in the public domain, and are not considered objects privately owned by persons. Asians traditionally learn by copying the wisdom of their elders and ancestors. Making money by writing a book is not considered an honourable endeavour for a learned person. 16 The idea of paid copyrights is also foreign to Japanese culture. Japan had to change its copyright law in 1996 under pressure from the US. The International Herald Tribune reported at the time that, 16 Media Development 3/2009

19 current Japanese copyright law does not protect foreign recordings made before 1971, meaning that Western record companies, by their estimates, are losing millions of dollars a year in royalties from the copying of tunes that are still highly popular. The headline of the article on this matter in the International Herald Tribune read: US take music-piracy charge against Japan to WTO. 17 This is curious: a cultural difference (that is, a different opinion about how long rights should hold) has been interpreted as piracy. Tôru Mitsui explains that the basic conception of copyright has become familiar in Japan mainly through newspaper coverage of copyright issues concerning records, tapes, and computer programs. But still the Japanese people do not take well to copyright, or more properly, to the idea of the individual right. Generally speaking, to claim one s right is regarded as dishonourable or undignified, especially when the right involves money. 18 Indonesia and its culture Across rural parts of Indonesia (where most Indonesians live), the governing laws are known as adat or customary law. Most such laws in the fourth most populous country in the world do not make a distinction between tangible property, such as land, and intangible property, such as that which might exist elsewhere in a book or song, and adat law does not accommodate intellectual property law and, for example, does not recognise the sale of intangible goods. 19 As a result, attempts to enforce copyright laws and their accompanying ideology are likely to fail in crafts such as batik; traditions of creativity are not the same in Indonesia as they are in Indiana. As one writer explains, Indonesian traditional communities often create for reasons which preclude commercialisation. Some see their work as a symbol of dedication to art itself or a national treasure Many local creators are happy to allow their works to be imitated and duplicated without their consent and are proud if their works are copied, often because they believe that they have assisted the community in some way. 20 For example, a singer of traditional Indonesian music was very happy when his music was copied en masse in 1997 and was reported not to be interested in launching a copyright infringement action. n From The Copy/South Dossier. Issues in the economics, politics, and ideology of copyright in the global South, edited by Alan Story Colin Darch and Debora Halbert. The complete Copy/South Dossier is available for download in English and Spanish versions at Notes 1. This is a personal account of a trip to Peshawar undertaken in August 2004 by a university student Ali Khan. Thanks to Ali for his contributions to this section (and others) of this particular article. 2. The indigenous people of Northwest Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan. 3. This literally translates into story and tale. 4. The Dreaming tells of the journey and the actions of Ancestral Beings who created the natural world. The Dreaming is infinite and links the past with the present to determine the future. 5. A Yanyuwa man from the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mussolini Harvey, describing the link between body painting and the Dreaming. 6. Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, Bouziane Daoudi and Hadj Miliani, L aventure du raï: musique et société. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1996, p Ibid. 9. John Collins, The problem of oral copyright: the case of Ghana, in Simon Frith (ed.) Music and Copyright. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993, p Ibid. 11. Arthur Wineburg, Jurisprudence in Asia: Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights, 5 University of Baltimore Intellectual Property Law Journal, 1997, p Stanford, Ca. USA: Stanford University Press, The Analects of Confucius. Translated by A. Waley. New York: Macmillan, Daniel Burkitt, Copyright culture The History and Cultural Specificity of the Western Model of Copyright, 2001 Intellectual Property Quarterly, Ibid. 16 Wineburg, p International Herald Tribune, 10/11 February Tôru Mitsui, Copyright and music in Japan, in Simon Frith (ed.), Music and Copyright. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993, p Simon Butt, Intellectual Property in Indonesia: A Problematic Legal Transplant, 19. European Intellectual Property Review 20023, 429, p Ibid. p Media Development 3/

20 Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, and Christian Churches Churches are struggling with the complexity of copyright laws and the restrictions they face when they want to use liturgical resources in a worship setting or publish non-profit worship material. It is difficult to find resources that can be freely shared through the Internet. It is hard to know how to use worship material from other countries in an equitable and just way. It is not easy to know where to go to find advice or to avoid being trapped by intellectual property laws. Churches, individuals, and Christian and ecumenical organizations are facing challenges when dealing with these issues. Their struggle is intensified because of the larger context of globalization, where the rules of the market dominate and a culture of commodification is everywhere. While it is important to understand the logic of the market and laws and regulations that apply to intellectual property, there are other issues that need to be taken into consideration. This booklet aims to give some direction and guidelines in the task of searching for alternatives to the current situation. Published by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) Licence (1989). 57pp. ISBN Available from and 18 Media Development 3/2009

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