Tuesday, October 25, 2005

UNESCO approves convention on cultural diversity

Media Trade Monitor reports that " UNESCO has approved ( on Friday 21st October) the Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD), after several years of negotiations. The CCD (formally known as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions) is meant to provide legal backing to the principle that culture cannot be reduced to a commodity. Concretely, it is meant to allow each country to exclude its cultural policies, including 'audiovisual services' - otherwise known as the mass media - from 'free trade' deals like the WTO."

In the negotiating process "NGO networks like the International Network on Cultural Diversity and the campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society called for broad civil society support for the CCD, but warned that it must not be subordinated to the WTO and must be written to support cultural and media diversity inside countries, not only between them."

NGOs also lobbied sucessfully against language supporting the existing rules on copyright but they "failed to insert references to the importance of the public domain, fair use, and the creative commons".

NEW: For a roundup of news related to the UNESCO process, check out del.icio.us/tag/mediatrade.