June Retrospective

Missed some of the discussion on the zine? We look back at the last month of stories and features on the ORGzine.

Image: no time CC-BY-NC Flickr: Tim Johnson

The ORGzine is introducing a new monthly feature where we have a look over the last month on the zine and offer a summary of the discussion we have hosted. It offers an opportunity to look back at what you may have missed, and see how the articles  relate  to each other. Plus, as this is the first one, I am sneaking in a couple of pieces from the end of May.

We saw an increase of articles by campaigners touching on digital rights issues which affect those outside the usual dialogue. Dan Pescod of RNIB and the European Blind Union guest-posted for us about how DRM and copyright rules can cause a 'book famine' by preventing the format-shifting. necessary to make ebooks accessible for blind and partially-sighted people. He is advocating a European wide exemption to copyright laws to answer this issue.

Jenny Thomas of CRIN (Child Rights International Network) and Milena Popova discussed the digital rights of children. Jenny described how restrictions on children's access to information, on the grounds of 'protection', prevents them from making informed choices and can fuel discrimination. She also explained that blocks on the internet, "also serve to deny children age-appropriate information about issues such as sex education, sexuality and drug use." Her arguments are particularly relevant as the government has recently launched a consultation on parental internet controls (which you can respond to!). Yet later in the month, Milena Popova found herself using that very cry 'Think of the Children' when Facebook proposed a junior version of its site. Her response was based on privacy problems, not porn panic: what attitude would Facebook normalise when it comes to identity? Both pieces raise some key points about the way we think about children accessing the internet.

Talking of privacy, Paul Bernal wrote a very thorough piece on the Right to be Forgotten. He explained what the term means and what it is trying to solve. He raised the point that the 'Right to Delete' would ultimately be more appropriate. In response to the issues of control over our data he discussed, we featured a series of digital businesses who have created tools which they believe solve issues of online privacy. Runa Sandvik, Tor, explained that the free sites we use, like YouTube and Gmail, are paid for "through the monetization of your personal information". The Tor project lets you circumvent this by browsing the web anonymously. Peter Cranstone wrote from a different angle, arguing that some data should be shared in order to receive high quality web services and his solution involves storing data on your own device, using an X-header and greater transparency. We have more lined up on this debate and would welcome your thoughts.

 

Editor picks you may have missed:

The Olympics Organising Committee Runs Rings around Transparency

How to use the Curator's Code

A License to Print Money

 

So what's coming up?

In the next month there will be articles on the language of the digital rights activism, an explanation of draft EU legislation on orphan works and a publisher's response to DRM. Plus, interviews with Creative Commons' School of Open and the Sci Fund Challenge.

 

Ruth Coustick is the ORG zine's Editor.

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By Ruth Coustick on Jul 04, 2012

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