CI's 2013-2015 work programme on A2K confronts governments and
corporations who abuse the rights of consumers in the digital age
through unfair restrictions on access to knowledge.
Through this work, our ultimate aim is to empower the digital
consumer to more fully enjoy the rights of freedom of expression,
participation in the cultural life of the community, education, and
privacy that are guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of
In the past, most access to knowledge advocacy has been about
changing intellectual property laws.
Whilst this remains important, we are introducing an alternative
and complementary approach: the use of consumer protection laws and
policies against big businesses that abuse intellectual property
By reframing policies around access to knowledge as consumer
protection issues, we have a more compelling argument for
The background for this work comes from our 2010-2012 research that
identified how consumer laws can be used to prevent various forms
of IP abuse, particularly unfair terms in End Users Licensing
Agreements, which are ubiquitous in the technology sector.
We found that there was scope for many countries to use consumer
law to address IP abuse issues and to protect the legitimate rights
of their citizens in using new technology products and
The A2K programme has it own dedicated website a2kNetwork.org, with project updates,
discussion forums, and expert blog commentary.