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European Commission has an Internet advocate

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, has become a lonely voice trying to protect the Net’s most basic values. At a cultural ministers’ meeting held in Avignon last month, she had the temerity to suggest that the copyright system is not working to protect the rights of creators or to spread culture. Now she is suggesting that the Net can actually help the forces of freedom and democracy around the world. This new speech not only makes the case, it seems to have paid attention to the debate over previous claims that the Net is overall a positive political force, not merely a neutral technology, and not primarily a tool of oppression.

Neelie gave her full speech in Avignon in a closed door meeting, but she presented a version of it the next day at the Forum d’Avignon, which I was at and live-blogged. At the time, it struck me as certainly better than the copyright totalitarianism espoused by President Sarkozy, the values of which were mirrored by most of the participants in the Forum. But I thought Neelie was proposing nothing more interesting than adjusting copyright law so that more money went into the hands of more artists, rather than addressing the imbalance between the rights of creators and of the public. But I’ve been convinced by European friends, particularly Juan Carlos de Martin that I’m failing to hear her remarks in the right European context.

So, go Commissioner Kroes, go!

3 Responses to “European Commission has an Internet advocate”

  1. [...] blog post on this: http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2011/12/10/european-commission-has-an-internet-advocate/ [...]

  2. [...] more here: Joho the Blog » European Commission has an Internet advocate Be Sociable, Share! Tweet This entry was posted in Internet & Telecom and tagged [...]

  3. [...] David Weinberger sez, “Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, has followed up her controversial observation that the current copyright laws do not seem to be making things better for creators or for culture with a talk that sketches a reasonable approach to helping the Net serve as an instrument of democracy in unfree nations. Go, Neelie, go!” [...]

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