July 2017 Newsletter

by Prasad Krishna last modified Aug 23, 2017 02:03 AM

Dear readers,

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.

  • In an article published in the Huffington Post on July 1, 2017, Nirmita Narasimhan stated that imposing taxes on assistive devices is unfair. It is unconscionable that disability aids and assistive technology are considered a luxury and taxed at a higher rate than rough semi-precious stones or cashew nuts.
  • A research paper on patent working requirements and complex products in India authored by Prof Jorge L. Contreras, University of Utah, and Rohini Lakshané, CIS has been accepted for publication in the Jindal Global Law School Law Review 2017.
  • Negotiators from 16 countries met in Hyderabad for discussing a free trade agreement titled Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Anubha Sinha along with Arul George Scaria reported this in an article published by Live Law.in.
  • Supreme Court of India while dismissing an appeal by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization ruled that there was no copyright infringement and no licence was required since the activities fell under the education exception in Indian copyright law. In an article published by EIFL, Anubha Sinha discusses the judgment and what it means for access to educational materials in India.
  • Odia Wikipedians, in conjunction with Indian Athletics Federation and Sports and Youth Services collaborated to document the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. Hundreds of photos were uploaded and new Wikipedia content added to inform the event’s fans, wrote Sailesh Patnaik and Jnanaranjan Sahu in a blog post.
  • As recently as May 27, 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation (REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 was adopted The Data Protection Directive (1995/46/EC) will be replaced by this Regulation. It is expected that under this Regulation data privacy will be strengthened. Aditi Chaturvedi analyses the developments in a report.

CIS in the news:

CIS members wrote the following articles

Accessibility & Inclusion
India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities, we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.


Access to Knowledge
Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is under a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, is for the growth of Indic language communities and projects by designing community collaborations and partnerships that recruit and cultivate new editors and explore innovative approaches to building projects.

►Pervasive Technologies and Copyright

Research Paper

Participation in Event

  • 19th RCEP Meeting (Organized by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India; July 17 - 28, 2017; Hyderabad). Anubha Sinha participated in the meeting.


As part of the project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation we have reached out to more than 3500 people across India by organizing more than 100 outreach events and catalysed the release of encyclopaedic and other content under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-3.0) license in four Indian languages (21 books in Telugu, 13 in Odia, 4 volumes of encyclopaedia in Konkani and 6 volumes in Kannada, and 1 book on Odia language history in English).

Blog Entries

Note: The events were organized earlier but reports were published in July 2017:


Internet Governance

As part of its research on privacy and free speech, CIS is engaged with two different projects. The first one (under a grant from Privacy International and IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.


Blog Entry

Participation in Event

►Free Speech and Expression and Cyber Security

Participation in Events

CIS is involved in promoting access and accessibility to telecommunications services and resources, and has provided inputs to ongoing policy discussions and consultation papers published by TRAI. It has prepared reports on unlicensed spectrum and accessibility of mobile phones for persons with disabilities and also works with the USOF to include funding projects for persons with disabilities in its mandate:

Participation in Event

Researchers at Work
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by an emerging need to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It aims to produce local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:

Event Organized


About CIS
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.

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► Support Us

Please help us defend consumer and citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of 'The Centre for Internet and Society' and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru - 5600 71.

► Request for Collaboration

We invite researchers, practitioners, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, at [email protected].

CIS is grateful to its primary donor the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.
ASPI-CIS Partnership


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