Consumer Responsibilities

 

Anwar-FazalIn the 1980s, CI’s then president, led the call to also introduce a set of consumer responsibilities to compliment consumer rights.

These remain crucial principles for many consumer rights organisations today:

Critical awareness – consumers must be awakened to be more questioning about the provision of the quality of goods and services.
Involvement or action – consumers must assert themselves and act to ensure that they get a fair deal.
Social responsibility – consumers must act with social responsibility, with concern and sensitivity to the impact of their actions on other citizens, in particular, in relation to disadvantaged groups in the community and in relation to the economic and social realties prevailing.
Ecological responsibility – there must be a heightened sensitivity to the impact of consumer decisions on the physical environment, which must be developed to a harmonious way, promoting conservation as the most critical factor in improving the real quality of life for the present and the future.
Solidarity – the best and most effective action is through cooperative efforts through the formation of consumer/citizen groups who together can have the strength and influence to ensure that adequate attention is given to the consumer interest.

source: http://www.consumersinternational.org/who-we-are/consumer-rights/

Consumer Rights

On 15 March, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy delivered an historic address to the US Congress in which he outlined his vision of consumer rights. This was the first time any politician had formerly set out such principles.

‘Consumers by definition, include us all,’ Kennedy said in his Congressional Statement, ‘They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are often not heard.’

Over time, the consumer movement has developed this vision into a set of eight basic consumer rights that now define and inspire much of the work CI and its members do (around areas such as financial services and communications):

The right to satisfaction of basic needs – To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
The right to safety – To be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life.
The right to be informed – To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.
The right to choose – To be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.
The right to be heard – To have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
The right to redress – To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
The right to consumer education – To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
The right to a healthy environment -To live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

 

source http://www.consumersinternational.org/who-we-are/consumer-rights/

How to Prevent Online Shopping and Debit Card Fraud.

The Electronic Payments System is being targeted more and more by fraud. In order to prevent you from being a victim, always be vigilant with your debit card activities. The ease of shopping and comparing products and prices online has made it an attractive option for many shoppers. If you notice any unusual debit card activity on your statement, please notify the bank immediately to see what your bank can do to help.

Using a card provides you with extra protection if things go wrong – protection that you don’t necessarily have if you pay by cheque or cash. In addition to this extra protection provided, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.

Incorporating the practices listed below into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe.

  • Check your statements. Don’t wait for the statement to come; check your online banking regularly. Watch for transactions that you didn’t make.
  • Limit your online purchasing to one card. When you use more cards, you allow access to more accounts.
  • Invest in a reloadable card when making online purchases. Reloadable cards allow you to limit the amount you place on the card and are not linked to your bank account. For example the Nakumatt Global Card and the KCB Pepea Card
  • Open a second checking account specially used for internet purchases. Don’t allow this account to be connected to your other accounts. Transfer only the purchase amount into the account.
  • Keep record of your internet transactions. Check your email for a confirmation after you have made purchases online. Verify your mailing address with the post office and  ­financial institutions.
  • Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
  • Don’t give your information out over the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know.
  • Your bank should have your information on file, so, don’t give out any personal or card number information if you receive a call to “verify fraudulent activity.
  • Use an online payment service like PayPal.
  • Use familiar websites. If you’ve never done business with them before, ­first do an online search for reviews or complaints.
  • Destroy your card when it expires or when a new card becomes effective.
  • Memorize your PIN. Do not write it on your card or keep it with you. Never give it out.
  • Remember to pick up your ATM receipts before leaving the ATM.
  • Be aware of added fixtures to ATMs, Skimming devices allow fraudsters to collect card and PIN information.

Finally, your card company should be your first point of contact – not the police. It will be up to your card company and not you the account holder, to pass details to the police. Where an additional crime has been committed with the fraud, for example, you have had your wallet stolen or your card used fraudulently as a result of a burglary, or if you want to claim on your household goods then this should still be reported to the police.

Will you read this article about ONLINE terms and conditions? You really should do

We live in a time of terms and conditions. Never before have we signed or agreed so many. But one thing hasn’t changed: we still rarely read them.T AND CC )
While companies need to protect their interests given the frivolous lawsuits in vogue, you should know when terms and conditions become more than standard operating procedure and turn into ransom notes. The consumer is forced to agree to the terms in order to proceed to the next step, whether it is to use a service or install software.
Here are some of the things that you should look for before clicking ‘I accept’.
                                                                                               Free mobile apps
INTERNET T AND CMany so-called free apps for your smartphone or tablet are supported by ads. Read through the terms—the app could be accessing your personal information, mainly to deliver targeted ads. Also, as mobile ads will be delivered whenever the app is active, it will add to your data usage at the end of the month.
Photo sharing and printing websites
You own the intellectual property rights to your photographs, but what happens if you upload themT AND C to a photo sharing website? Who owns them if you upload them to a stock photo site? Or to a photo printing website? You might be shocked to learn that several photo sharing/printing websites retain the right to use your photographs in any way they see fit in a ‘perpetual and irrevocable’ manner. So, check before uploading.
Buying online/booking tickets
This is one area that can have a lot of ambiguity. Do manufacturer warranties apply to products bought online? What happens if there is a defect or you need to return the item? If case of airline tickets, prices are volatile and you need to read the fine print to make sure that you can return and get a refund. Many ‘special fare tickets’ are sold on the condition that they will not be returned/refunded.
Protecting Twitter & Facebook accounts
A rising trend points towards websites allowing you to sign in and start using their services by using your existing Twitter, Google or Facebook ID. Though you skip the registration process (which encourages more users), the website identifies its visitor and gets more information. This is officially allowed using Facebook, Google connect and Twitter sign in. However, you may find automated posts and tweets being sent on your behalf. Check the permissions you are granting the site or app before allowing access to your account. If it says ‘Allow app/site to post/send tweet’ or ‘Grant permission to post on your behalf’, cancel and run.
Online shopping
Have you ever thought how your name and e-mail address find their way to various websites that you have never heard of? Whenever you sign up for newsletters, to comment on an article you read, or for a community forum, your personal information can be misused. Not only could this website start sending you e-mail spam (special offers, notices), but could even sell your e-mail ID to third parties without your consent.
Sharing personal information on e-mail
Ever notice how the text ads in your e-mail inbox are creepily ‘right on the money’? All the baby clothing store ads appear if you’ve had a baby. Camera stores materialise if you’re a photographer and local restaurants pop up if you’re discussing a dinner date with a friend. Targeted ads, especially those with accurate location and demographics, can earn a lot of money. By agreeing to the terms, you become the conduit.
By accepting these terms, you are literally agreeing to anything and everything the service imagesprovider may ask of you, now or in the future, as long as you are availing of its services. There aren’t too many ways out of the situation, other than opting for another service provider. However, needless to say, it is time you started reading the terms carefully, and more frequently.

Certain cybercrimes you need to know about

Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for cyber crimesperpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cybercrime.
All crimes performed by abuse of electronic media or otherwise, with the purpose of influencing the functioning of computer or computer system. The followings are the top listed types of cybercrime:
Hacking
Hacking is a simple term means illegal intrusion into a computer system without the permission of the computer owner/user. Hackers usually do that with the intention of obtaining confidential information.
Virus Dissemination
Virus itself is software that attacks other software. It may cause for data loss, deduction of bandwidth speed, hardware damage etc. Trojan Horse, Time Bomb, Logic Bomb, Rabbit are the malicious software.
Software Piracy
Theft of software through the illegal coping of genuine programs or distribution of products intended to pass for the original.
Credit Card Fraud
You simply have to type credit card number into www page of the vendor for online transaction. If electronic transactions are not secured the credit card numbers can be stolen by the hackers who can misuse this card by impersonating the credit card owner.
Sale of Illegal Articles
Narcotics, weapons and wild life etc. are sold by posting information on websites, auction websites, and bulletin board or simply by using email communication. Many of auction sites are believed to be selling cocaine in the name of money.
Intellectual Property Crimes
These include software piracy, copyrights, infringement, trademark violations, theft of computer source code etc.
Email Spoofing
A spoofed email is one that appears to originate from one source but actually has been sent from another source. Personal Relationship may be jeopardized because of email spoofing.
Cyber Defamation
With help of computers and/ or the Internet When any defamation takes place it is called cyber defamation. It can tarnish personal image of any individual or reputation of any company, bank or institution.
Cyber Stalking
Cyber stalking involves following a person’s movement across the Internet by posting messages on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-room frequently by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc.
Email Bombing
Email bombing can be committed by sending huge number of emails to the victim resulting in the victim’s email account ( in case of an individual) or mail servers ( in case of company or an email service provider) crashing. Thousands of emails are sent to the personal account or mail server until it is crashed.
Data Diddling
Data diddling may be committed by altering raw data just before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after processing is completed. Government offices may be victims to data diddling programs inserted when private parties were computerizing their systems.
Salami Attacks
For the commission of financial crimes salami attacks are used. Here the major thing is to make alteration which is so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely unnoticed. “For example a bank employee inserts a program, into the bank servers, that deduct a small amount of money from the account of every customer. No account holder will probably notice this unauthorized debit, but the bank employee will make a sizeable amount of money every month.

Child pornography

Child pornography is online trading of images of the children
involved in sexual activities.

NOVARTIS V CIPLA CASE

Swiss-firm-Nova5177Novartis, the Swiss drug multinational which fought a six-year battle for retaining its Glivec patent and lost the case in India, seems to have landed in yet another patent controversy now. This time it is about marketing of a respiratory drug, Indacaterol, at a very high price and that too in insufficient quantities. Marketed as Onbrez, the drug is used to treat breathing problems associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it is estimated that more than 15 million Indians are afflicted with the disease.
Novartis has been granted the patent for the Onbrez in 2008 by Indian patent office but the company never attempted to manufacture the drug in the country and has been importing the same since then. As the import of the drug is not adequate to meet the growing demand of patients, a shortage situation already exists in the country causing distress to several thousands of patients according to Cipla, a leading Indian pharmaceutical company. It is rather surprising that neither the Patent Office in the country nor the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion took note of the shortage situation after the grant of the patent to Novartis.

Cipla in the meanwhile reported to have launched a cheaper version of the drug in the market on the ground that there is a shortage for the drug in the country and approached DIPP to revoke the patent granted to Novartis. DIPP has not taken a decision on this matter yet. Section 66 of the Indian Patents Act empowers the Central government to revoke a patent in public interest after giving the patent holder an opportunity to explain why it should not be revoked. Cipla’s stand is that there is an urgent and unmet need for the respiratory drug in India and it has to be made available at an affordable price to the patients.
If Cipla’s stand in this matter is factual, then the government needs to act fast on this matter and make the drug available to maximum number of patients in the country. How that should be done in a situation like this has to be decided by the government without any further loss of time. First of all, the government should have monitored the CIPLAavailability of the drug in the market after the grant of patent in 2008 as it is an exclusive marketing right for an essential drug. Cipla’s unilateral decision, at the same time, to launch a generic version of the drug in the market is debatable.

Cipla has asked the DIPP to revoke five patents of Novartis relating to the product citing need for public health access and stated the patent holder Novartis does not manufacture the drug in India.
Last year in April, Novartis had lost a seven-year long legal battle for getting its blood cancer drug Glivec patented in India and to restrain Indian companies from manufacturing generic drugs, with the Supreme Court rejecting the multinational company’s plea.

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The Nine  Dont’s of writing a legal research paper

1.       NOT PROVABLE

Do not pick a topic which, by its very nature, cannot be proven, or researched using normal standards of evidence.

For example: Avoid such topics as: ESP; the existence of God; mystical events; “Gods from Outer Space;” “alien abduction”; miracles of any kind; whether there is “life after death;” etc.

It’s best to avoid any kind of religious topic except, possibly, an historical one.

2.       STRONG FEELINGS OR BIAS

Avoid any topic which you feel so strongly about that you could not have an open mind about it.

For example: If you passionately hate Fidel Castro, or Newt Gingrich, do not write on them.

If you choose such a topic, you will not be setting out to discover the truth.

Instead, you will be setting out to find examples or evidence to support preconceived ideas you already hold.

But research is the attempt to discover the truth. So you will not be doing research.

However, if you are interested in a topic, and at the same time feel you could have an open mind about it, then that would be a good topic for you. You will be more interested and motivated to spend the long hours of research, and will think more creatively and better about your topic, if you are interested in it.

3.       STATISTICS

Do not pick a topic where you will have to rely upon complex statistical information which you cannot understand.

If you do, you will be choosing to “believe” the source of your statistics. Believing authorities is not research, and can never lead you to discovering the truth.

Exception: you can use statistics  the United Nations, provided that you know how to use them, and look for critiques of them. But avoid statistics from private research organizations or foundations.

4.       TECHNICAL

In general, do not pick any technical topics. Only those who have technical skills can do research in technical areas. If you believe you have such technical skills in some area, please consult with me first.

5.       LEGAL

Avoid legal topics — any topic which involves determining whether something is, or might be, “legal” or “illegal.”

Legal research is not research in the sense in which we are studying and using it here. Legal research is concerned with finding precedents in previous law cases decided by various courts. This is a specialized skill. It is not concerned with discovering the truth.

6.       MORAL

Avoid choosing topics in which your “research” would mainly be deciding whether something is “right” or “wrong,” “good” or “bad.”

Moral judgments cannot be proven true or false in the same way that other statements can be.

7.       CONTEMPORARY

Do not pick a topic which involves events that are so recent that it would be difficult or impossible to find other research on them.

One of the most important ways of learning research methods is to study good research done by experienced researchers on the same topic you are interested in. This won’t be possible to do in the case of a very recent topic. Therefore, you should avoid such topics.

9.       CAN’T GET AT THE EVIDENCE

Don’t pick a topic where you obviously can’t gain access to the evidence, or to the object to be studied.

 

 


REMEMBER THE “X” RULE:

In order to come to correct conclusions about X, you must study X directly

where X is any object of study.

China’s Copyright Laws. A Very Useful Primer, With A Music Twist.

Undisputed Legal Inc.

By Dan Harris

The China Music Business Blog (who knew?) just did a post by University of Oregon Law School Professor Eric Priest. Priest’s bio notes that he previously “worked in the Chinese music industry as a consultant, entrepreneur, and producer.”

Priest’s post (paper) is entitled, Making Amends: China Music Copyright Law Primer, and it is broken out into the following sections:

  • The Development of PRC Copyright Law
  • Copyright Law Since China’s Entry into the WTO
  • Copyright Enforcement—Administrative and Judicial Enforcement Routes
  • Internet Enforcement

View original post 513 more words

Managing ambiguity in IP transactions

IP Draughts

uncertaintyA job description recently caught IP Draughts’ eye. It requires candidates to “demonstrate the ability to operate effectively in highly ambiguous situations”. (The vacancy is for a legal manager in a university technology transfer office. If you are interested, you will need to hurry: the deadline for applications is the end of this month.)

Brief searching on the internet confirms that this quality is much valued in senior managers of organisations.

Ambiguity in this sense doesn’t seem to have quite the same meaning as a contract drafter might use it, to describe a contractual obligation that, through imperfect wording, may have more than one interpretation. Used in this way, ambiguity can be contrasted with uncertainty. The meaning of a contractual obligation may be uncertain, without there being any choice of meanings.

Instead, the term seems to be used in management theory to refer to dealing with uncertainty. Another way of…

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