The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) takes a great pleasure in inviting you to participate in the forthcoming A2K workshop scheduled to take place at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Wednesday 7 April 2010. The workshop is being organized by the APC, with the support of the IDRC.

The purpose of the workshop is two-fold:

  • to share the results of APC's research to understand the scope and dynamics of media piracy in South Africa; and
  • to locate and understand the demand for access to cultural goods in the context of a broader demand for "access to knowledge" goods and the challenge citizens experience in realising such access in South Africa.

The workshop will bring together a range of people who are working on different aspects of access of knowledge, including:

  • Current trends around IP enforcement
  • Open publishing/Scholarly communications
  • Access to educational materials
  • Access to cultural goods (such as music and films)
  • Open Stadards
  • Open Source
  • Intellectual property laws and access for the visually impaired
  • Reforming Copyright Law

At its core, copyright law should mediate and create a balance between the interests of the creators of content and those of the public. Historically, it was intended to provide effective rights protection to the creators and reasonable access to the public in order to encourage creativity and innovation. Progressively - and more so as we enter deeper into the digital realm - the existing intellectual property treaties and bilateral trade agreements serve to tilt the balance in favour of copyright holders (who are mostly in developed countries) and away from the public interest and in the interest of development. Thus, these agreements have since restricted the public from access to knowledge, and have also, for the most part, prevented developing countries from being able to use digital copyrighted material.

In this workshop, participants will engage with the kinds of intellectual property (IP) policy and legislative changes that a developing country like South African should pursue in order to stimulate local creativity and innovation, and respond positively to the knowledge and development needs of the broader South African public.

We hope that workshop participants will develop advocacy positions and a strategy on access to knowledge with a view to advancing public interest in the current IP regime and broader access to knowledge.

Speakers include Eve Gray, Tobias Schonwetter, Andrew Rens, Aslam Raffee, Derek Keats, Tanja Bosch, Pria Chetty, Kerryn McKay, Desiree Markgraaff and Libby Lloyd.

Date: Wednesday 7 April 2010
Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg
Time: 10h00 to 17h00
Please confirm your availability to participate in this event by emailing Melody Emmett at memmett@iafrica.com with the following information:

  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Position in organisation
  • Contact numbers (landline and cell)
  • Email address
  • Details of any special dietary requirements (vegetarian, halal, kosher, etc.)

Directions to the venue, if required, will be sent you to with confirmation of your RSVP.

Natasha Primo
National ICT Policy Advocacy Initiative
Association for Progressive Communications
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel/Fax: +27118372122
Skype/Yahoo: natashaprimo

or

Melody Emmett
for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

Tel/Fax: (011)-622-7695
Cell: 082-8686-581

Email: memmett@iafrica.com