Thursday, 19 February 2009

OII annouce new journal - Policy and Internet - call for papers

John Key and his digital policy advisers.
As part of his weekly discussion with Mikey Havoc on 95BFM this morning, NZ Prime Minister John Key, opined that the Governments position on the fraught issue of the Copyright Amendment Act , Clause 92a was framed in part by the advice they were given.

However, to give him his due, he then said that he hadn't looked at the legislation until this week and that "how it was drafted was a bit ropey", and needed looking at.

While welcoming his practical good sense, it begs the question, how do politicians form the views on new technology which eventually end up either as legislation, regulation or policy frameworks.

ACTA - being negotiated in secret.
And by extension, how do these views in turn impact their ability to negotiate with confidence foreign trade agreements, e.g. ACTA

Political/Policy Digital Literacy?
In short, just how digitally literate are our politicians and their advisers? If my experience is anything to go by, the answer is very mixed. Some "get it", some struggle, and some are just not interested.

And, it is the latter group who are the biggest. Also the higher up the cabinet ranking you go, the greater the distribution of the latter. And that's the real scary bit. The same applies to their policy advisors.

Policy and Internet - new peer reviewed journal from OII
Accordingly, although it might sound a tad dry, it is very welcome to see the announcement from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), and the Berkeley Electronic Press on the birth of, Policy and Internet, a new peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal.

The brief is to investigate the implications of the Internet and associated technologies for public policy.

The background
Do we need this? Well if the emerging background to the drafting of Section 92a is anything to go by, then it certainly feels like it.

OII in turn argue their case for the need because, first, the Internet is now embedded in social, economic and political life, bringing with it new practices, norms and structures.

Second, the societal shift enabled by the Internet enables new kinds of policy innovation and creativity which in turn raises new challenges and risks for policy-making and analysis.

They say that by addressing the need "for rigorous empirical investigation, theoretical development and methodological innovation across academic disciplines, Policy and Internet can become the premier arena for advancing policy research and shaping the policy agenda in the digital era."

The journal is fully multi-disciplinary in scope. Topics will range across policy sectors and regions of the world, including generalised, sectoral or country-specific policy effects.

Find further details and make submissions, here
Call for Papers (pdf, 30kb):

New IP Frameworks - Retun of Fair Use
'Tis to be hoped that papers on new and robust forms of intellectual property regimes come flooding their way. I could even frame one myself - A study on the loss of 'fair use' provisions in the digital age and its impact on open and sustainable knowledge networks.

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