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Internet Bill of Rights Workshop Sapporo

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I am here representing the Ministry of Culture of Brazil. Minister Gilberto Gil, who was our minister until yesterday, when he resigned. It is an odd situation to be here representing someone who has just resigned, but I promise that I won't cry here, as I've got to get through the presentation Mr. Gilberto Gil was part of this group that inspired this initiative of creating an 'Internet Bill of Rights' (IBR) He used to call himself a 'Hacker Minister' which is something very interesting for us and we've been following this debate since it started in Tunis, in 2005. Well, I see the iSummit as a great opportunity to share what the 'Internet Bill of Rights' initiative has achieved until now and I think it is also the appropriate place to bring new collaborators into this ongoing dialogue In fact, it seems like a much more suitable place to develop an IBR strategy than, lets say, what we came to know as an edition of the Internet Governance Forum. The first time I participated in a IBR workshop was in Athens, in 2006 I brought news of a major digital inclusion strategy of involving newly "digitized" cultural groups in Brazil. At that time, I decided to present for discussion what would be a natural demand from the kids of cultural hotspots: which was to seek from an Internet Bill of Rights the right to REMIX CULTURE. For those of you unacquainted with the concept of a cultural hotspot it is a program of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture which empowers established cultural groups with the ability to digitize their content through open source audio and video editing software and also fosters the exchange of content among the network of hotspots This program also encourages the use of alternative licenses like Creative Commons and Copyleft in a way that allows remixing and collaborating with the other hotspots and the whole of society. Two years have gone by since I made this first presentation in the IGF in Athens and during this time, I haven't seen much progress in the IGF process as a whole. But I can say that from a Digital Culture perspective, this period of time has only confirmed what I think is the distinctive aspect of this new dynamic of collaborative creativity promoted by the digital environment. nowadays, ideas are put out much earlier and less completely formed so others are able to access and participate in further developments in their own ways. In a sense, we are talking about the same 'release early, release often' principle that crosses over all of the derivatives of the open source movement. Ok, here again, the thoughts of Gilberto Gil are instructive Minister Gil likes to point out the role of the Internet in reconnecting various cultural diasporas. As the scattered and incomplete pieces of a once-extensive cultural diversity find each other through the Internet the new conversations and exchanges not only reconnect the fragments but allow incomplete cultural voices to reconstruct themselves as a collective force and continue their creative evolution into the future. The Brazilian Ministry of Culture is deeply concerned about diversity in all of its forms existing, reconnecting, reconstructing and developing, digitized and traditional and, thus, it is very involved in the ongoing international debate over the protection of cultural diversity. In fact, minister Gil has given total support to the process of ratification of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity which is now in the process of being implemented. During an International Cultural Diversity Seminar held last year in Brasilia which focused on practical implementations of the convention a point raised by the Colombian anthropologist, Jesus Martin-Barbero attracted a lot of the attention. He said that.. "no matter how excellent it is to have an international convention on cultural diversity we must take note of the fact that almost everything regarding such policies is being decided at levels where neither the local agents nor the global mediators of the actual cultures have proper access to the decision-making process". Martin-Barbero called for a new set of global institutional tools ones that can only emerge from a new kind of core political relationship. According to him, up until now the 'fundamental bind' in the cultural debate has been between the culture and the nation state. He was not talking about overcoming the State, but remodeling it in terms of its interconnections with local community initiatives and its dialogue with the new global stakeholders. He was talking about direct participation of cultures and their rooted voices in governance models for the 21st century. During the last edition of the Internet Governance Forum in Rio the Brazilian Ministry of Culture offered technical support for the IGF Secretariat in order to establish remote participation channels for the discussions. We even set up an alternative IGF venue in the center of the city in an effort to bring together artists, politicians, and all people interested in getting to know more about Internet governance from a cultural perspective. I must say that it didn't work as we expected, but that is another story... From the IGF-Rio, one of the things that I remember most was a blog post by Joi Ito where he wrapped-up his 3 years with ICANN Among other interesting remarks he talked about ICANN's difficulty in trying to figure out better ways to get the input from the people who are affected by the decisions related to Internet governance. The fact is, as he mentioned, that it has always been an issue but one that is not unique to ICANN. All of politics and collective action today share the difficulty of getting the public directly and creatively engaged in issues that affect them. In a recent speech, Minister Gilberto Gil affirmed that "Digital Culture initiatives present a built-in revolutionary device and are able to play a fundamental role in shaking away the inertia of the traditional politics that has excluded much of society from public life". He talked about a bottom-up unrest happening everywhere which he sees as a very positive sign of the emergence of a non-governmental political movement that he believes to be a direct and evolved result of recent cultural and counter-cultural forces which have been increasing their ability to influence public policies. He talked about 'Peer-acy'. I do think that the iSummit itself is a demonstration of the power of Digital Culture initiatives and I do think that the expertise gathered here in Sapporo has the ability to bring innovative and fresh perspectives to the Internet Bill of Rights initiative. I think that would be just great. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 51 seconds
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Producer: Carlos Affonso - FGV
Director: Carlos Affonso - FGV
Views: 152
Posted by: josemurilo on Jan 19, 2009

Bill of Rights & Brazil's Ministry of Culture by José Murilo

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