Intellectual property rights are a consumer issue. For example, there are many instances that supersede the interests of the end user, making information unaffordable, unavailable, or difficult to use as in the case of digital rights management technologies.
Consumers Union, and the over 220 member organizations of Consumers International (CI), believes that it is in the interest of all consumers to have unhampered and inclusive access to knowledge. To this end, we are helping CI gather information to pinpoint the barriers consumers face when they access knowledge resources such as educational materials, software, films and music. By completing the six questions on the CI access barriers survey, you can help us to understand how consumers view and interact with copyrighted materials.
This is part of an international research and policy effort known as Access to Knowledge (A2K) that encompasses intellectual property rights and related communications policy issues. These include freedom of expression, security and privacy, accessibility, and infrastructure issues such as broadband availability and wireless access.
To learn more about this international effort visit the A2K site. In the United States, we have pursued these issues under the banner of communications choice.