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Report - Round table - What is the public and economic value of the Internet for Europe?

Here is the short report of the first session on EuroDig 2010. It was 'Round table - What is the public and economic value of the Internet for Europe?’

The session was opened by its moderator Susana Rosa, who firstly introduced the key participants, or speakers, of the session and after introduction the key speakers, she briefly explained what are the main points
to be discussed during the session.

The discussion started with pointing out the main values that the Internet offers.

Mr. Lieven Vermaele, Technical Director of the European Broadcasting Union first took the floor. As we expected he emphasized the important role of media concerning the Internet. When we are talking about media and the Internet, Elfa Yr Gylfadottir, representing the Ministry of Education , Science and Culture of Iceland, mentioned very interesting initiative in the Iceland, so called Icelandic Modern Media Initiative with the emphasis on the freedom of expression. The explanation, why this initiative begun in Iceland was quite interesting for me. Elfa Yr Gylfadottir explained that media in Iceland did not work properly their job , there were a lot of secrecy in their work, and the aim of this initiative is to provide more transparency concerning the media.

After the discussion about the media and the Internet, we slightly moved to the question of Human Rights and the Internet. The issues concerning Human Rights on the Internet that were discussed were the access to
the Internet, access to services, open source and copyrights. It is worth mentioning here the Mr. Lieven Vermaele’s statement: ‘The universal access is the crucial.’

The question of copyrights on the Internet seemed to be the most interesting for the discussion. The key participants discussed with the audience which sanctions would be appropriate for someone’s violation of
copyrights and how the copyrights should be regulated. They mentioned that each state already has the copyrights laws but could we use those laws in online world? The main outcome of this debate is that the principle of proportionality should be the guideline for regulating the copyrights laws on the Internet.

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