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Information and Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean

Development of Technologies and Technologies for Development

image of Information and Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean

The countries of the region have substantially progressed with large-scale application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to varied aspects of economic and social development: the installation of digital infrastructure, modernization of public administration, digitalization of economic processes to enhance productivity as well as the quality of education and health care, and natural disaster management. Rapid evolution turned ICTs into a real solution for the development agenda. In the effort to use ICT efficiently for development, it is important to bear in mind that these technologies are not an end in thsemselves. Should ICTs be the essential element in the approach applied by information societies to development, or should the different aspects of development rather guide the way this technological revolution is harnessed?

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The debate on intellectual property rights with regard to ICT

To date, consumers’ access to ICT (computers and Internet) in the region has been on a pay basis, though they have not necessarily had to pay for software, content and related services. Where software is concerned, microenterprises and medium-low income consumers have taken advantage of free access to illegal copies. Text and videos protected by intellectual property rights laws and agreements have, in practice, also been available to consumers, both through digital piracy, i.e. illegal commercial reproduction and distribution of copies, and through non-profit social sharing of copies among Internet users.

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