Build an intellectual framework that will protect access to knowledge both as the basis for sustainable human development and to safeguard human rights.
History shows that revolutions come with a price tag and the 'information revolution' through which we are living is no exception. We are only now beginning to understand the economic and humanitarian tolls along the information superhighway and how much the evolution into a worldwide information economy is really costing humanity on a global scale. Environmentalism was a belated response to the industrial revolution. The Access to Knowledge (A2K) Initiative aims to build an intellectual framework that will protect access to knowledge both as the basis for sustainable human development and to safeguard human rights.
Multinational corporations, elite policymakers, and other proponents of expansive intellectual property regimes argue that increasing intellectual property rights and corporate control over knowledge best serve society's interests. Yet ample evidence suggests that the reverse is true: increasingly, widespread access to knowledge and preservation of a healthy knowledge commons are the real basis of sustainable human development. Despite a growing body of evidence suggesting that maximizing intellectual property monopolies, disabling communication infrastructures, and restricting the development of essential technology with digital rights management schemes are harmful and misguided, these outmoded approaches continue to dictate global legal norms and shape national legal infrastructures. Not surprisingly, incumbent property owners desire to maintain their preeminence and resist sharing the intellectual property which they view as the source of their power.
The goal of the A2K Initiative is to counterbalance the distorting force of these tendencies by supporting the adoption and development of effective access to knowledge policies.
[NOTE on charity: The Facebook "Causes" application requires the designation of a US charity to receive donations. We are in the process of determining the most appropriate charity, but in order to launch the A2K cause without delays, we have selected EFF as the recipient in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.]
1. Access to knowledge must be linked to fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development.