Tuesday, February 28, 2006

WIPO Open Forum on the draft Substantative Patent Law Treaty (SPLT)

Wednesday, 1 March 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Morning Session of the WIPO Open Forum on the draft Substantative Patent Law Treaty (SPLT)
Background and Summary of Sir John Sulston's address

The WIPO General Assembly of 2005 mandated WIPO (WO/GA/32/13) to hold an informal open forum on
all issues that have been raised in the draft of the SPLT or that Member States wish to include in the draft SPLT. The forum will be of a duration of three days. The various issues will be discussed with contributions from speakers reflecting a balance of geographical representation and perspectives, and technical expertise.

As mentioned in my previous post the agenda is the result of a consultative process held between WIPO Member States and the WIPO Secretariat.

The three day meeting is thematically divided into 5 broad topics: Theme 1-Harmonization of Substantive Patent Law: Purpose, Approaches and Limits, Theme II-Subjects of Patent Law Proposed for Harmonization, Theme III-Patents as a Source of Information and Innovation, Transfer of Technology and Licensing Practices, Theme IV-New Technologies and their Specificities and Theme V-The Interface of the Patent System with Other Areas of Public Policy.

The morning commenced with an excellent overview by Sir John Sulston (Vice-Chair, Human Genetics Commission, London-Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002), entitled "International Patent Law Harmonization, Development and Policy Space for Flexibility". He briefly touched upon his background as a biochemist, a user of knowledge in research. His experience in the human genome project highlighted tensions between the public and private sectors "over whether the human genome sequence should be freely released".

Sir Sulston noted that while
[p]eople need a robust system for handling intellectual property, and world harmonisation of IP is extremely desirable. Removing diversity is good for the majority of those seeking patents, by simplifying the process and avoiding duplication in the work of patent offices, so IP professionals will rightly press the case to do so. But it may not be so good for the rest of us, the ultimate users of the results, and may not be good for all patent holders equally. Precisely because the world is diverse, we are not yet in a position to agree easily on the details of the ideal system. Solutions need to be effective overall, not just for the few. We need to seek balances between sometimes conflicting pressures: between developed and less developed countries, discovery and exploitation in science, private and public, free release and monopoly.

Sir Sulston cited two examples in the difficulties faced by countries with respect to the upward ratcheting of IP regimes. He noted the 1996 European database directive which had been demonstrated to be ineffective, and in some instances counterproductive in encouraging the European database industry. Despite the evidence however, the legislation has not been removed because of the commercial interests of the database industry.

He also noted the example of the opposition expressed by the US Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Science and Technology to the TRIPS Agreement during the Uruguay Round negotiations. Sir Sulston highlighted that the patent system should exist in balance with other forms of innovation. He cautioned against simplistic causality when affirming the benefits of the patent system by showing parallelism between an increase in patent applications and increasing prosperity. He noted,
One can equally point to parallelisms between obesity and prosperity, or between global warming and prosperity. But nobody suggests that obesity or global warming are causes of prosperity - they are unwanted by-products. Undoubtedly, robust patents have an important part to play, but we should be cautious in giving them too much credit for industrial success. This is especially true in the context of world harmonisation. In general, the developing countries that have shown the fastest growth are those that retained relatively protected markets until they reached a position of strength. The same was, of course, the case for Europe and the US a century ago. Regrettably, harmonisation is a way for those who have already arrived at a prosperous situation to pull up the ladder and stop others joining them.

Sir Sulston noted that given the imperfections of the patent system, harmonisation should not be the first priority for WIPO Member States-especially developing countries. First more efforts are needed to implement TRIPS safeguards. He noted that harmonisation should be pursued gradually and piecemeal.

He welcomed two important themes underway at WIPO: (1) the Development Agenda and the (2) Chilean proposal to appraise the public domain. In this context he mentioned proposed instruments for handling intellectual property including (1) the General Public Licence of the Free Software Foundation, (2) CAMBIA's Biological Innovation for an Open Society (BIOS) open licences adapted for patent technologies in the life sciences, (3) Creative Commons, and (4) the WHO resolution submitted by Kenya and Brazil which "proposes better methods for handling IP in biomedical research and development".

Sir Sulston issued a caveat concerning WIPO's role in the discussion of complementary systems to IP. He cited US and EU efforts to negotiate bilateral agreements and free trade areas in lieu of the international trading system. He noted that the
irony is that these so-called free trade areas are a return to old systems of most favoured nations- and indeed imperialism. It's a disturbing development, and needs a collective response.....Harmonisation but not equalisation is desirable. We need a substantive IP system, but simply heading uncritically down a road of more and stronger exclusivity is wrong for many of us: wrong for science, wrong for many small businesses, wrong for reducing the poverty gap. Wrong indeed for our very survival - for injustice breeds discontent wherever it comes from.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

WIPO PCDA discussions on way forward

Thursday, 23 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

The afternoon session of the fourth day of discussions dealt mainly with structuring future discussions of the development agenda. The Chair (Ambassador Gauto Vielman of Paraguay) distributed a document entitled "Clusters of Proposals" from A to F listed vertically.

A. Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

B. Norm-Setting, Flexibilities, Public Policy and Public Domain

C. Technology Transfer, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Access to Knowledge

D. Assessments, Evaluation and Impact Studies

E. Institutional Matters including Mandate and Governance

F. Other Issues

Nearly one hour was devoted to whether to structure this list "horizontally" or "vertically". The Ambassador of Argentina proposed that this list be structured in horizontal clusters in a table or matrix format. This he suggested would be a better way to visually see the common threads binding the proposals. Different delegations could then identify which cluster or column they felt their proposals belonged to. This initiative was supported by Brazil, Pakistan, and Venezuela. Many other members including the United States noted that this process was time consuming and was not the most efficient way to proceed.

The delegate from Pakistan had an inimitable quote on these discussions,

We can't resist the temptation to recite this line while we are looking at your proposal; a dance is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. It is somehow relevant to the discussion we are having here. The desire is horizontal because we want to have a common ground. We have received from you a vertical expression.

The Argentine idea for a table would visually indicate how much support different proposals would receive.

At the end of the day, the Chair called on Members to submit their respective proposals by 10 AM tomorrow and indicate under what headings they wanted their submissions to be included. The Secretariat will then compile the submissions and present a compilation by 2:30 PM. At the 3:30 PM the WIPO PCDA will resume and consider this compilation and the Chair's summary.

Discussions at WIPO PCDA on US proposal related to counterfeiting, piracy and enforcement

Thursday, 23 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

Yesterday the United States of America presented its proposal on the elaboration of a WIPO Partnership Program. Point six of the US proposal dealt with the effect of counterfeiting and piracy on economic development.

The US proposal called for the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) to

discuss and analyze the relationship between the rates of counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property and technology transfer, foreign direct investment and economic growth.

The US delegate asserted that there was growing evidence that weak IP regimes were a deterrent to inward investment, FDI and technology transfer. The US proposal called for the WIPO Secretariat to "assist in the collection of data on piracy rates".

Japan and Austria (on behalf of the EU) made rather anodyne remarks supporting studying the effect of counterfeiting and piracy on economic development.

Brazil responded point by point to the US proposal. As the hour was drawing late, Brazil continued its response this morning. Brazil noted the American delegate's mention of "endemic" piracy. The Brazilian delegate noted that piracy was a global problem and not just a problem endemic to developing countries. he noted that WIPO did not have the mandate to address corrupt practices of government or of enforcing IP; the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) was just an advisory body.

Brazil responded to Romania's intervention on Brazil creating a national committee to combat piracy in 2003 and thanked Romania for recognition that Brazil had credentials for enforcement.

At this point the Romanian Ambassador Doru Romulus Costea raised his placard in the air and made an intervention. He noted that

[w]hat Romania does in respect of enforcement is not in question here. Otherwise if we were to talk about what each and every country does, we would have produced a different statement and we would be here all day.

The Brazilian delegate responded

[w]e have credentials to raise the adequacy of the IP to development. We don't feel counterfeiting and piracy belong to this. However, another delegation brought up Brazil's national statements on piracy, so I feel obliged to resume my intervention. And I feel it is incumbent on me to respond on Brazil's efforts to combat piracy. As the Romanian delegate rightly, pointed out we do believe the ACE is an important body provided it functions within it's terms of reference. The fact that we have a development agenda does NOT mean we favor counterfeiting and piracy. I must say that it is strange to hear Romania cite Brazil's efforts on enforcement in support of his point about enforcement. One would normally expect that one would cite the experience of one's own country. Since the Romanian delegate cares so much about enforcement, perhaps the delegate could submit his candidacy for the ACE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Clarification on WIPO discussions on the WHO R&D resolution

Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

On the first day of the WIPO PCDA, the Chilean Ambassador noted current discussions on an a2k treaty and the WHO resolution on a global framework on essential health research and development as examples of complementary systems to and in intellectual property.

In my intervention on behalf the the Civil Society Coalition yesterday, I highlighted

recent events at the World Health Organization's Executive Board which recently submitted to the World Health Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the WHO, a draft resolution on a "Global Framework on Essential Health Research and Development". The resolution provides a process to consider a new global regime that is consistent with human rights and public health priorities. The proposed resolution recognizes the importance and relevance of public sector and open source methods of supporting and doing R&D, and the need to have appropriate balance between the public domain and intellectual property rights.

Dr. Eric Noehrenberg, Director, of International Trade and Market Policy at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) responded in his intervention in the following manner,

As a point of clarification regarding the WHO resolution mentioned by a previous NGO speaker, it should be noted that the resolution in question was NOT submitted by consensus to the World Health Assembly, contrary to normal procedure. Indeed, only Kenya and Brazil signed onto this resolution and several delegations expressed strong concerns about the usefulness of this exercies. The models of an "R&D treaty" or "guidelines" submitted to WHO are unworkable, ineffective, and bureaucratic.

It should be noted that the actual text of the WHO decision (EB117.R13) of 27 January states the following,

[t]he Executive Board, [h]aving considered current developments regarding access to medicines and the need to develop urgently new medicines and other health care technologies; [s]ubmits to the Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly for its consideration the following draft resolution.

Nowhere in this decision does it state that the resolution was "NOT submitted by consensus to the World Health Assembly, contrary to normal procedure" nor does it state that only "Kenya and Brazil" forwarded this draft resolution to the World Health Assembly. On the contrary, the WHO Executive Board submitted this proposal to the World Health Assembly by conensus, bracketing language where divergences occurred.

Day 2: Chile's presentation of its proposal

Tuesday, 21 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

The morning session continued with general statements on the Development Agenda process.

The afternoon session resumed with a focused discussion of the Chilean proposal. Chile made a detailed presentation of its proposal. Chile elaborated on its three main points: (1) recognizing the value of the public domain, (2) the "importance of complementary systems to and in intellectual property" and (3) conducting a "study for assessing what are the appropriate levels of intellectual property, considering the particular situation in each country, specifically its degree of development and institutional capacity".

On the public domain, Chile stressed that its intentions were not about attributing a monetary value to the public domain but rather to recognize its inherent value to society. He noted that the benefits of a rich and vibrant public domain were obvious to the education, government and business sectors. For patent offices, the public domain could be used to see what prior art was available throughout the world.

The delegated reiterated that Chile's starting premise was that
nothing is created out of nothing. The greater the works in the public domain the greater the creation. We don't want to put fences around the public domain.

The delegate noted that patents and copyright laws could have a negative effect on the public. He reminded the committee that around a 100 years ago, various limits were put on the public domain through these laws. He remarked that while they may have been justified one by one, taken as a whole, they have reduced the public domain.

According to Chile,
[c]opyright was originally designed to protect author's rights, artists and performers. We are now discussing new rightholders that can have claims to the same work. The number of rights conferred on rightholders have increased. And we have increased the terms of protection of both copyright and patent.

Chile reminded Member States with respective to retrospective protection, there exists a presumption about the ownership of works under Article 18 of the Berne Convention. There are so-called "orphan works" Chile said that some industrialized country legislation dealt with this problem.

Chile noted a national initiative to digitalize all copyright works so they would be available when they move into the public domain.

With respect to its second proposal on complementary systems to and in intellectual property, Chile noted that WIPO should have a discussion on creative commons and free and open source software. Chile noted that while there could be difficulties in setting up a permanent forum to discuss these complementary systems, the delegate suggested that a time-limited electronic discussion forum or its inclusion as a standing agenda item in a WIPO Committee as a means for further consideration at WIPO.

With respect to its proposal on impact assessments on the effects of IP on development. Chile suggested country studies on specific issues such as patents and copyright, L&E, and alternative systems. The study could comprise a small selection of developing and developed countries on a voluntary basis. Chile indicated its willingness to participate in such a study.

A substantive debate followed Chile's presentation which I will blog on in the near future.

Here is a list of public interest NGO interventions in support of the Chilean proposal.

Civil Society Coalition (CSC)
IP Justice
Third World Network

Thanks to Gwen Hinze (EFF) and Teresa Hackett (eIFL) for inputs.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Day 1 of WIPO PCDA meeting

Monday, 20 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

The first meeting of the WIPO Provisional Committee for Proposals Related to a Development Agenda (PCDA) meets from 20 February to 24 February. The morning session commenced at 12:43 PM and broke up at 12:57 PM. The reason for the abbrievated morning session was intense pre-meeting negotiations on electing a Chair for the PCDA. One candidate favored by the Group B countries (mainly industrialized Members) was the Ambassador of Romania. The candidate favored by many developing countries was Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman. Finally, after much deliberation, the candidate from Romania withdrew from the race. When the morning session convened, Nigeria on behalf of the African Group formally nominated Ambassador Gauto (Paraguay) as Chair and the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan as Vice-Chair. Thailand, on behalf of the Asian Group seconded the nominations; Ambassador Gauto and the Kyrgyz Ambassador were elected unanimously to their respective posts. Ambassador Gauto noted that he was
"[c]ommitted to working in a very open-minded way" He noted that the
PCDA would resume at 3PM with "presentation of new proposals put
forward, then invite substantive discussion of proposals". The importance placed to the Development Agenda discussions was evidenced by the presence of several Ambassadors (Argentina, Chile Morocco, Nigeria and Paraguay to name a few).

Most of the afternoon session was devoted to countries making general statements and introducing their respective proposals.

Austria, on behalf of the European Communities and its 25 Member States and the acceding states of Bulgaria and Romania, asserted that it shared the premise that development related issues could be integrated into WIPO within existing the WIPO Convention and 1974 agreement with United Nations, recognizing WIPO's mandate to facilitate development.

The Austrian delegate emphasized the need to make concrete proposals by concentrating on proposals that were "ripe for harvest". According to Austria, this would help engender trust and cooperation and would ensure that this resulted in an international IPR regime that increased encouragement for foreign direct investment, stimulates economic growth and provide benefits to all.

Thailand, on behalf of the Asian Group noted the importance of public policy objectives in the Millennium Development Goals, e.g. public health, biodiversity, access to medicines, and access to educational material. Thailand stressed that WIPO needed to ensure that its norm-setting activities were consistent with public policy objectives recognized by group. It noted its support for the mainstreaming of the development agenda into WIPO norm-setting activities

Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, presented its proposal for the Development Agenda. Ambassador Joseph U Ayalogu stated that "[t]echnical assistance should be development-oriented and demand driven. With respect to transfer of technology, the African Group echoed the conclusions of the Report of the UK Commission in Intellectual Property Rights which asserted that
the critical issue in respect of IP is not whether it promotes trade or foreign investment, but how it helps or hinders developing countries gain access to technologies that are required for their development.

Ambassador Ayalogu stressed that the African Group was not against IP protection per se. However, he noted that the Group was of the opinion that any meaningful discussions of IP and development take into account the following:

1. There must be a clear and consistent rational for IP protection

2. There must be an assessment of the costs and benefits of IP protection.

3. IP protection must not be divorced from the aspirations not be divorced from the aspirations of developing and least developed countries for economic growth and development, the acquisition of technological know how, etc.

5. Public interest concerns such as access to knowledge, health and nutrition, agriculture and so forth must be protected.

Pakistan made an intervention on behalf of the Group 77 (G-77) and China. Ambassador Massood Khan noted that the G-77 and China were of the view that the "Development Agenda discussions in WIPO form[ed] an in important milestone". He noted that WIPO, as part of the UN family, had an obligation to prioritize the mainstreaming of development dimension into the core of its program and operational activities. Ambassador Khan reiterated the Doha Declaration adopted at the Second South Summit in 2005 which emphasized that

while developing countries are committed to undertaking their international obligations, these undertakings may impose high costs, and that given the differences in development and the ability of countries to assume obligations, it is imperative that identical obligations are not forced on unequal participants.

Ambassador Khan highlighted the IIM discussions last year which cited the need to make the "affordability and accessibility of essential products like pharmaceuticals, text books and educational software" as "primary examples of areas where such flexibilities need to be either created or made operable, with regard to the IP system."

Ambassador Dumont of Argentina made the intervention on behalf of the Friends of Development (FOD). As mentioned in the FOD proposal, the FOD identified 6 common threads among the 50 specific proposals presented since 2004. The FOD proposal noted this 6 common themes as a means of producing tangible outcomes and recommendations to the General Assembly in 2006. Among the common threads identified was how to

"facilitate access to knowledge generally around the world and
specifically in developing countries for example by means of a Treaty
on Access to Knowledge" given the [g]rowing importance of access to knowledge of protecting and promoting access to the cultural heritage and need to maintain robust public domain through exceptions and limitations.

The Chilean Ambassador outlined his delegation's proposal. He stressed that a public domain was an important source of creativity and a key factor for growth. He cautioned that the public domain could be unnecessarily affected through technological protection measures (TPMs). He warned of a global trend towards increasing exclusive rights and restricting material in public domain. In his elaboration of the importance of complementary systems to and in intellectual property the Chilean Ambassador noted current discussions on an a2k treaty and a treaty on medical research and development (being discussed at the WHO).

The United States made an elaboration on its proposal for a WIPO Partnership Program.

Please see Georg Greve's blog for additional insights.

Thanks to Gwen Hinze and Teresa Hackett for inputs

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Conclusion of open consultations on Internet Governance Forum

19 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam

The open consultations on the Internet Governance Forum concluded on 17 February 2006. Here are the official transcripts of the second day of the morning and afternoon consultations.

Pakistan, on behalf of G-77 and China stated that the World Society on Information Society (WSIS)
belongs to the series of U.N. summits that focused on economic and social development issues.

The primary objective of the summit in all its aspects, including Internet governance, was to create, and I quote, a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society.

The group would like to reiterate that the Internet Governance Forum we intend to create must help realize this vision of a development-oriented information society.

Pakistan stressed the importance of having multi-stakeholder participation in the IGF from governments, civil society, and business from developing countries as well as international organizations.

According to the delegation of Pakistan, part of a development oriented approach to internet governance would be by "providing users with choice of different software models, including open source, free and proprietary software".

Pakistan called upon the chair to reconvene open consultations in a month to have more substantive deliberations.

The Chair noted there could be logistical problems in convening consultations in Geneva in a month as there were many other conflicting meetings.

Brazil supported Pakistan's call for an additional round open consultations. Brazil suggested early April as set of dates )after the ICANN GAC meeting in New Zealand at the end of March). Brazil's proposed a format for the IGF comprised of three bureaus, a government bureau, a private sector and a civil society bureau. Each bureau would have 15 representatives. The government bureau would have five regions with three representatives each.

Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance, noted the possibilities of a "steering committee" or a "programme committee" as potential bodies to determine the agenda of the Athens Internet Governance Forum.

Pakistan (G-77 and China) noted that there was no agreement nor discussion within the G-77 yet of a "steering committee or a program committee". Pakistan requested to hold consultations in three to four weeks to prevent clashing with the human rights commission.

Australia echoed Singapore's views that the IGF start small and evolve as the IGF is proven. Australia highlighted the preference by many delegations for so called "horizontal" or "cross-cutting" issues rather than "vertical" issues. In the delegate's own words,

Concerns has been expressed that issues are being put forward as priorities for discussion in the IGF which are not cross-cutting enough or are too readily being consigned to silos. I'm not quite sure that we would agree that Spam, security, and cybercrime, for example, are not cross cutting. They seem to raise implications in a range of areas and to warrant responses from a range of areas and institutions. But I do not really want to ponder on the meaning of cross cutting. I would observe that many issues lend themselves to be tackled in a cross-cutting manner from a multidimensional perspective, and we consider that is what is important. In addition, while there is a general statement that there are many cross-cutting issues, paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda also identifies particular functions and themes for the IGF which may not always be easily reconciled with this idea of cross-cutting issues.

The representative from the Worldwide Web Consortium noted their involvement in the web accessibility initiative which helped to define technology for people with disabilities. The representative urged the IGF to present its outcomes, in what ever format they took, to be presented in "open, non-proprietary formats that were used on the web everywhere else like HTML".

William Drake suggested that the structure of the IGF be fairly decentralized with a small administrative unit along the lines of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Chairman Desai concluded by stating that the IGF would be held either in October or November and the organizers would ensure that it would not conflict with major religious holidays. He indicated that under standard practice, the Greek government (the hosts of the IGF) would be asked to provide a chair for the Forum. The chair noted that the terms "program committee" and "steering committee" to draft the agenda of the Forum had caused confusion among certain delegations so for the time being the term used would be "multistakeholder group". The Chair noted that how this "multistakeholder group" would be constituted would need to be decided relatively quickly in ten days. Chairmain Desai encouraged participants to present their views directly to Markus Kummer who would then convey them to the Secretary-General. The Chair hoped to have a fully functioning "multistakeholder group" before the end of March. The Chair noted that "nothing could be ruled out" as a discussion them in Athens. He urged participants to present ideas for between three to five priority discussion themes to the IGF. He reiterated that the program committee not New York would set the Athen agenda.

Brazil offered to host the 2nd IGF in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

The Chair reiterated that the IGF awaited comments on two key issues,
the constitution of the -- possible constitution of the management -- multistakeholder management group, whatever it finally is called, and possible themes. I'm suggesting three simply because excluding the opening, there will be three plenary days available. But if three happens to become five, I'm sure there are ways one can be accommodated on that.

So on these two issues, if within ten days you can communicate with Mr. Kummer or anybody here who feels they still would like to rethink -- many of you have already given your views on this, but those of you who feel they want to go back and think

On the first day, I raised the question as to whether the IGF could consider open document formats in the context of government procurement policies and a proposed treaty on access to knowledge which has been raised by the friends of development countries at the world intellectual property organization.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

First day of consultations on Internet Governance Forum

16 February 2006
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Morning session

Today in Geneva the UN is holding two days of open consultations on convening an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which is mandated by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This mandate calls for the IGF to be a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue. The IGF is chaired by the Secretary-General's Special Advisor for WSIS, Mr. Nitin Desai. A live webcast of the proceedings can be viewed at:

Here is an official
of the morning session.

According to the IGF website,

The aim of the consultations is to develop a common understanding among all stakeholders on the nature and character of the IGF. The meeting will address the IGF's scope of work and substantive priorities as well as aspects related to its structure and functioning. It will also discuss the convening of the inaugural meeting including agenda and programme.

Tentative dates for the IGF have been recommended by representatives of the UN Secretary-General and the Greek government; they are 24-26 October 2006. A decision on the dates will be taken jointly by the Secretary-General and the Greek government in light of the Geneva open consultations of 16-17 2006.

The format of the first day was open to governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, businesses, academics and individuals. Unlike other UN meetings I have attended, there was no hierarchy in terms of the order of statements. The statements of governments, civil society, IGOs and others were all interspersed during the day.

The main buzz words of the day seemed to be "multi-stakeholder" and "multilingualism". However, it was not quite clear as to what different parties meant by these terms.

Both the EU (represented by Austria) and Brazil called for spam to be a discussion item at the Athens IGF.

Pakistan took the floor on behalf of the G-77 and China and called for development-oriented clarity to the discussions of internet governance.

Brazil noted that decision making internet public policy issues should be taken by world community at large and not by number of technical bodies or a single government.

They said that technical bodies were deciding upon public policy issues. They warned that this awkward situation could go on forever without causing serious trouble and as they had said before, things that cannot go on forever don't.

They wanted the IGF to be a locus for the global community at large to create the necessary international applicable legal framework for internet-related pubic policy issues.

Brazil mentioned cyber-security, cybercrime, spam, consumer protection, counterfeiting, and global public policies related to top related domain names as possible substantive topics to be discussed in the Athens meeting.

The chairman, Mr. Desai concluded the morning session on the follwoing note

Everyone accepts multi-stakeholder participation. What does this mean though? Should it be based on open consultations, however, that was a simple process. The IGF should meet around 3 days once a year. What type of structure is to be expected at Athens? Many have echoed that IGF should have a development orientation. Development country participation is important (not just govt-but CSOs as well). Can this space be a forum to discuss the digital divide? The development dimension of ICT should be there but it is much bigger-education, e-health-governance and many other dimensions. We should not load everything from Tunis process into IGF. What is that we are expecting to see in IGF? We need flexibility, shared understanding of first IGF to look like. IGF term is 5 years. My request; it's not our job to fix outcomes, it's the job of the IGF to do this. What we need to focus is how to structure the forum.

Here is a link to Georg Greve's blog of the discussions.