On 6 June, at the Republic Agency for Electronic Communication in Serbia, a Remote Participation HUB was convened for the first plenary session of EuroDIG 2012:  Intellectual property rights in the digital environment.

The remote HUB was organised in cooperation with the Republic Agency for Electronic Communication in Serbia (RATEL), the State Secretary for Digital Agenda Administration, the Register of National Internet Domain Names of Serbia (RNIDS), and DiploFoundation. Panellists included Ms Jasna Matić , State Secretary for Digital Agenda and Nikola Bozic from Science Center Petnica, a member of the  organising committee for last year’s EuroDIG summit, held in Belgrade.  Arvin Kamberi from DiploFoundation moderated the remote session.

In her opening speech on the topic of intellectual property rights in the digital environment, Matić highlighted the need for new business models to be presented, as a way forward in the process of creating a better and safer digital environment for everyone. She reminded all present that this opinion is one shared by many stakeholders including the World Intellectual Property Organization. ‘We need to redefine models of protection and ensure the profitability of intellectual property’, said Matić .

She pointed out the increasing influence of the Internet community on the decision-shaping process in all institutions, both national and European. ‘This sort of activism is needed and desired,’ she added. As a bright example she mentioned the strong activism around the ACTA trade agreement.

Nikola Bozic, Head of the Department of Science at Petnica Science Center, gave an overview of the Internet governance process and the overall multistakeholder approach to these issues. The panel fielded questions on EuroDIG and its importance. They stressed that the process of local dialogue is perhaps even more important than European dialogue.

Vladimir Radunovic from DiploFoundation (and a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) established by the Secretary-General of the United Nations) and Slobodan Markovic from Digital Agenda greeted the audience live from Stockholm, via Skype, and shared their impressions from EuroDIG 2012.

After the opening statements, remote session participants proceeded to follow the first plenary session at EuroDIG. Interesting remarks from the panellists at the Stockholm session were a great intro to a vivid discussion among the remote participants. As they tried to grasp the new business models being developed in this field, Diplo’s Arvin Kamberi explained the present artist-publisher relations in terms of sharing revenues and possible improvements in that direction. Participants had a number of suggestions from abolishing all IP rights and patents (Pirate party) to the further, stronger implementation of legal legislations and a scale-style model for informing e-customers of a possible IP rights breach.

Some light was shed on a new open-license way of reaching the Internet archives. Is software an Intellectual property?  Is it protected by copyright, patents? The discussion continued, with the audience interested in knowing if the public has impacted the overall Internet governance process. The answer came from our team in Sweden. They assured us that the voice of the Internet community is properly heard on an Internet governance level but they raised some concerns about the actual impact of dialogue on the international scene. 

To conclude, the panellists shared the hope of a future development of the dialogue and the multistakeholder principles in determining solutions for Internet governance issues. The national dialogue on Internet governance is here to stay and remote participation is an important way of interacting on any level.

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