Centre for Internet & Society

35th SCCR: CIS Statement on GRULAC Proposal for Analysis of Copyright in the Digital Environment

Anubha Sinha, attending the 35th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (“SCCR”) at Geneva from 13 November, 2017 to 18 November, 2017, made this statement on the agenda 'Other Matters' on behalf of CIS on Day 5, 17 November, 2017.

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35th SCCR: CIS Statement on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives

Anubha Sinha, attending the 35th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (“SCCR”) at Geneva from 13 November, 2017 to 18 November, 2017, made this statement on the agenda for Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives on behalf of CIS on Day 3, 15 November, 2017.

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CIS-A2K signs MoU with Telangana Government

The Centre for Internet and Society recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Telangana Government’s IT, Electronics & Communications Department with an aim to catalyse the development of the Wikimedia movement in Telangana and improve the state of free-licensed digital content in Telugu and Urdu.  The Principal Secretary for IT Department Mr. Jayesh Ranjan and renowned Telugu Wikimedian and Theatre Scholar Pranay Raj were present for the occasion. Mr. Konatham Dileep, Director (Digital Media), IT Department and CIS-A2K Telugu Community Advocate Pavan Santhosh were signatories to the memorandum.


This MoU is the result of successive meetings between the Digital Media wing and Telugu Wikipedians, CIS-A2K members and the Wikimedia Foundation. These discussions enabled all stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive plan to develop the free knowledge movement in Telugu and Urdu.


Katta Srinivas, a historian, teach and long time Telugu Wikipedian, says, “As one of the participants in earlier discussions with the government, I am happy to see progress in this respect. Especially, [the planned] photo archives of museums, photos of historical places and other events can be free-licensed as part of these initiatives. This decision can lead other government organizations to take up similar initiatives in India."


Apart from these, some of the planned activities include releasing encyclopedic photos and media content from government archives, increasing awareness about free licenses and Wikipedia among government officials, etc.



Discussion on Creation of Social Media Guidelines & Strategy for Telugu Wikimedia

Between 1 to 16 September, an online discussion took place on the creation of social media guidelines and strategy for Telugu Wikimedia handles online.

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Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Solapur University

Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Solapur University

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 02:09 PM |

15 September

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Orientation Program at Kannada University, Hampi

Posted by Gopalakrishna A. at Oct 24, 2017 01:01 PM |

A Kannada Wikipedia Orientation Program was conducted at Kannada University Hampi on 31 August and 1 September 2017.

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Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aurangabad

Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aurangabad

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:55 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia Workshop was recently held at the MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication on 11 August 2017.

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Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, Satara

Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, Satara

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:52 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was conducted at the Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal in Satara on 4 August 2017. The organisation, working on issues of women's rights, gender, justice and violence against women, was given an introduction to editing on Wikipedia. Voluntary organisation Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal is eager to implement innovative projects for the students and field activists. It has decided to integrate Wikimedia Projects and training modules for capacity building of students and movement volunteers. To get the overall introduction of Wikimedia Projects and basic skills, this workshop was organised for faculty and selected students. The edit-a-thon was attended by 10 female and 5 male participants. 

Sana Patel, a participant emphasises, "I realised the need to contribute gender related content. It is very important to write about women's issues and laws'. The edit-a-thon resulted in 13 new editors discovering Wikipedia for the first time. 20 articles were improved and five images were uploaded. A follow-up workshop on building content on women-related issues has been planned with the Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal as well as other like-minded organisations in Satara. Onkar Tapase, a participant opines, "as a journalist, I see a great potential to contribute" 

The meta page of the event can be found here.

Wikimedia Workshop at Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara

Wikimedia Workshop at Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:52 AM |

A Wikimedia Workshop was on 4 August 2017 at the Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College in Satara to introduce the Wikipedia and its sister projects to the students.

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Odia Wikisource Turns 3

 

Odia Wikisource, the Odia language version of Wikisource,  an online digital library of free content textual sources run by the Wikimedia Foundation, celebrates three years of contributing to the free knowledge movement this October. Odia Wikisource is a sister project of Odia Wikipedia,  the oldest Indian language Wikipedia. The Odia Wikimedia community, a group of active contributors to Odia Wikimedia projects in India, has been working towards digitizing rare books that are no longer under copyright as well as encouraging authors and publishers to free-license their work under the Creative Commons ShareAlike License 4.0. This license allows anyone free use of the work with due attribution. The books are usually digitized into Unicode text by scanning them using Optical Character Recognition technique. This ensures their easy accessibility on the Internet so that people may easily copy, share and use these works for citations and references. If the books are damaged to a degree that they cannot be scanned, volunteers take the painstaking effort to manually type out whole books and manuscripts.


Odia_Wikisource_2_-_group_picture.jpg

Odia Wikisource contributors/ CCBYSA4.0 User:Psubhashish

 

The Odia Wikisource project was realized on 20 October, 2014 after a two-year incubation period. Says Pankajmala Sarangi, long time Odia Wikimedian active on Wikisource, "since [2014] more than 300 old and rare books have been digitised and made available online. Before that, searching [for] a book in Odia was not possible even if it existed in pdf or some other format. Now it has become easy and all the books available on Wikisouce are easily searchable." In addition to digitization, the Odia Wikimedia community members conduct regular quality checks of the content from time to time by ensuring proper licensing, attributions and other errors that may be avoided by thorough proof-reading. While these quality checks follow global guidelines that have been localised to help volunteers prevent vandalism of any form, it has not been without its challenges. Ms. Pankajmala explains that the lack of Odia text on operating systems is problematic for access and availability. 

Despite the challenges, Odia Wikisource counts amongst its accomplishments the digitization of a twelve volume 14th century Odia classic as well as 16th century palm leaf manuscripts from the Dadhibaman Temple in Bargarh, Odisha. Taking the movement to classrooms, Odia Wikisource was introduced to students of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to pique the interest of young minds in the preservation of Odia language texts online. The many advantages of Odia Wikisource has also been illustrated to institutions with the Utkal University library encouraging the digitization of their rare books and manuscripts by Odia Wikimedians.

Sangram Keshari Senapati, another active Odia Wikimedian explains that Odia Wikisource is important for the preservation of those books which run a high risk of being lost in the coming years. He says, "our future generation must get a chance to read them." Adding to this, Ms. Pankajmala says, "Sky is the limit for Odia wikisource. We will try to digitise more books, most probably triple the number of existing books. We'll even try to reach more libraries and authors and get more books and further digitize them. The number of wikimedians may also flourish till that time."

 



RTI request to Indian Patents Office for Form 27 (Statement of Working of patents), March 2016

The Centre for Internet and Society filed this request under the Right to Information Act in March 2016 as part of research for the paper: Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance (July 2017). We sought forms pertaining to 61 of the patents found in our patent landscaping study. These forms were not available on the online public databases, InPASS and IPAIRS, at the time of the filing the RTI request. Research assistance was provided by intern Shreshth Wadhwa.

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RTI request to Indian Patents Office for Form 27 (Statement of Working of patents), 2015

The Centre for Internet and Society filed this request under the Right to Information Act in 2015 as part of research for the paper: Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance (July 2017). We sought Form 27 (also known as Statements of Working) pertaining to randomly selected patents found in our patent landscaping study. These forms were not available on the online public databases, InPASS and IPAIRS, at the time of the filing the RTI request. Research assistance was provided by intern Nayana Dasgupta.

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Guest Blog: Retd. Col. Ashwin Baindur on Strategy, Wikimedia Strategy Salon, Vijayawada

Posted by Manasa Rao at Aug 28, 2017 12:00 AM |

User:AshLin aka Col Ashwin Baindur (retd) gave a Plenary Speech(in absentia) on Strategy at the Wikimedia Movement Strategy Salon, held in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on 27 August 2017. It is reproduced here with permission:

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests and my dear Wikimedia friends and colleagues,

 I am deeply honoured to be asked to say the opening words for the Movement Strategy Salon being held today at Vijayawada. The problems of ill health prevent me from coming to be with you as I most dearly wish, but I do hope my few words and thoughts will make do instead. Let me introduce myself. I happen to be a retired army officer but I see myself as a citizen of the world, as a Wikipedian whose cherished dream is to make Jimmy Wales dream come true.

“Imagine a world where the sum of all knowledge is available to all mankind!”

 The occasion for this conclave or salon is timely. The twenty first century paradigm of Open Culture, of sharing and collective intelligence are well established. Crowdsourcing, Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive and so many other important global resources are proof.

 Education has received a huge fillip by the vastly increased amounts of data and knowledge on the Internet. Open sourcing has made its mark in the software side of the business world. Just as has open access publishing in Academia.  Society as a whole has gained by all these manifestations of open culture.

 And today, we are gathered here to begin thinking on the directions for the future of the Wikimedia movement in India.

 What does this mean in our case? India is a country of many languages, dialects, people, communities, religions, tribes. Along with this are the collective efforts of 1.3 billion people to make a secular, democratic, economically strong nation. The ability to share learning, understanding, experiences are key to this process. And for this, collaboration is a vital necessity.

 As of now the Wikimedia effort in India consists of a potpourri of projects, encyclopedia, quote, text repository and the use of Wikimedia Commons as a media repository. We have to grow this into a large, useful and versatile resource in each of our Indic languages.

 The Wikimedians, a small band of volunteers to date, must take along the entire society of India so that we have betterment as a nation by first creating and using these resources. And today’s conclave with kindred souls from society, academia, industry.. is a beginning in this regard.

 Now we are here to think what directions this Movement must take. I am envious that I can’t be part of this process with you. However, as a retired military person, let me say a few words on strategy and how it is decided.

 All planning occurs at three levels. The most basic of activities to be done are referred to as tactics. Tactics are governed by operational planning which comprises of a worked out plan of how to achieve the overall plan or the goal.

 The deciding of this overall plan or goal is referred to as strategy.

 To be more specific..

 “a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty..”

 And when we do this for a long period of the future, it is more appropriately termed as ‘grand strategy".

 For this we have to ponder - What is our aim? What are our strengths? What are our challenges? What are our opportunities? What are our resources and what are our constraints? What path should we take to achieve our aim?

 These are to be reduced into a few directions which are broad based, actionable and full of potential. A good strategy must open huge opportunities, new fields, new possibilities.

 The  is not easy to do or quick to make. It will take more than one session, more than one day, week or even a month to get our strategy right.

 Most important of all is that we learn to think in the new paradigm of sharing and open culture. We should leave behind the mindset of scarcity, possessiveness and personal benefit and embrace the values of the common good, creation of opportunities and innovation.

 On our success in making a good strategy, depends the fate of millions of our children and youth who will either benefit from our decisions or lose opportunities if we are not wise and generous. We have to believe in the future. We have to want to make that future great for our nation.

 I wish you the very best in this endeavour. I repeat, that I am envious that I can't be with you today. I pray that the things we decide from today onward in this process of grand strategy for the Wikimedia movement in the decades to come.

 At the very end, I would like to thank the Wikimedia movement in India, CIS-India, the organisers of this salon and of course, my young friend Krishna Chaitanya Velaga for this opportunity.

 Jai Hind!

 

 

Dataset for "Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance"

Dataset of the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of 4,916 valid Statements of Working (Form 27) corresponding to 3,126 patents pertaining to mobile technology in India. Licensed CC-BY-SA 4.0.

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Wikipedia Workshop on Template Creation and Modification Conducted in Bengaluru

Wikipedia Workshop on Template Creation and Modification Conducted in Bengaluru

A Wikipedia workshop on template creation, modification was conducted in Bengaluru on 30 July 2017. Here is a report.

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RCEP IP Chapter: A Serious Threat to Access to Knowledge/ Cultural Goods?

Posted by Arul George Scaria and Anubha Sinha at Aug 01, 2017 03:24 PM |

Negotiators from sixteen countries are currently meeting in Hyderabad for discussing a free trade agreement titled Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

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Marathi Wikipedia Workshop in Sangli, Maharashtra

Marathi Wikipedia Workshop in Sangli, Maharashtra

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Aug 01, 2017 12:00 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia workshop was recently held in Sangli, Maharashtra

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Telugu Wikisource Workshop

Telugu Wikisource Workshop

Recently, a Telugu Wikisource Workshop was conducted in Hyderabad between 22- 23 July, 2017

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Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance

India requires every patentee to file an annual statement, also known as “Form 27”, describing the working of each of its issued Indian patents. If a patent is not locally worked within three years of its issuance, any person may request a compulsory license, and if the patent is not adequately worked within two years of the grant of such a compulsory license, it may be revoked. The research paper on Form 27 practices and compliance by patentees authored by Prof Jorge L. Contreras, University of Utah, and Rohini Lakshané, Centre for Internet and Society has been accepted for publication in the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.

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Course Packs for Education Ruled Legal in India

Posted by Anubha Sinha at Jul 14, 2017 04:05 AM |
Filed under:

On 9 May 2017, a five year court battle between publishers and universities finally came to an end when the Supreme Court of India dismissed an appeal by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) challenging an earlier judgment of Delhi High Court that ruled course packs in India legal for educational purposes.

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