Main theme of the workshop:
• What lessons can we draw from some of the existing cases of - to some extent – self-regulation about protecting and enhancing the public good that complements (replaces to some extent) the legislative role.
Max Senges (Google):
• Uses Google Books case as an example to discuss the opportunities and problems of introducing new innovation quickly.
• Disruptive innovation with Internet based information means by definition that something that is a current state of play is being disrupted. Usually that also means the current legal system is not 100 per cent able to grasp the new processes.
• To innovate quickly, it is best to test new services in the field and to receive criticism and feedback from users.
Jeanette Hofmann (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung):
• Addressed the topic of Google books from a perspective of a changing cultural market.
• Previously, we would either buy tangible copies of books and/or we would buy access to cultural content such as buying a ticket to see a movie or a play in the theatre.
• When cultural, tangible goods turn into services, the relationship changes between sellers and the customers. Customers lose a lot of the rights that they are used to. For example if you buy a book you can read it several times, you can share it with your friends, you can resell it, you can do all sorts of things with it because significant parts of copyrights are exhausted with the transaction of buying the book.
• And this is no longer the case when we buy licenses, where there is no exchange of property rights. Here we notice a real shift in the power balance between sellers and buyers.
Fiona Alexander (US Department of Commerce):
• Spoke about the US experiences with self-regulation to accompany the slow moving legislative process.
• The US is trying out evolving models, where for example the White House issued a framework for a white paper for a commercial privacy framework. This contains some interesting key components, such as the creation of multi stakeholder processes to develop codes of conduct, including the ability for the Federal Trade Commission to enforce these codes of conduct once they were actually developed by stakeholders.
• The US have realized that domestic legislation is slow to move, so have thus started their own multi stakeholder codes of conduct process, the model and experiences of which could be useful for the other multi-stakeholder forums.
Emily Taylor (Independent Consultant):
• Industry views self-governance and the multi-stakeholder process as a cost, rather than a useful regulatory tool.
• She questions whether the multi-stakeholder process may actually be serving another public interest, other than ICANN’s initial experiment.
• The multi-stakeholder model may just be a model to legitimize certain decisions, which would be under heavy scrutiny if taken otherwise.
William Drake (University of Zurich):
• Supports the evolutionary process of internationalisation, but is also pragmatic enough person and an evolutionary enough person to recognise some things take time and have to be calibrated and so on.
• Unless you were to go through the AOC (Affirmation of Commitments between US DoC and ICANN) and strike out all the bits where there is an agreement between the United States and ICANN, then Internet governance is not a fully self-regulatory or multi stakeholder process. Drake supports the AOC.
• Many aspects of the AOC model are useful, such as periodic reviews by the communities, reflection, learning, adaptation, tweaking, experimentation and thus making it better over time. These are all very distinctive and obviously very different from other forms of governance.
• One of the challenges with self-regulation, co-regulation, multi stakeholder regulation or governance is that actors come into the process with very unequal power capabilities. It would take an extraordinary amount of really transparent open process developments to constrain, which translate into influence in ways that often are not obvious. One thing that is quite clear is that the ways in which those unequal power relationships manifest themselves is you know you have to actually be inside it to have the full sense just how many forms it can take.