Last Friday marked the midpoint of my summer internship. I gave a presentation on my copyright assessment to staff members from Open Development Cambodia, Open Development Mekong, and East West Management Institute. The purpose of this presentation was to share my research on the Cambodia copyright legal framework thus far and detail the external pressures on ODC copyright and freedom of expression. While my audience gained better insight into ODC’s political and legal operating environment, presentations such as these are often more valuable to the presenter. Research and writing is a rigorous and solitary endeavor. Many times, a writer can become so immersed and invested in his research that it becomes difficult for him to objectively evaluate his own work. Presentations like these are invaluable to the writer to reflect on the work, evaluate its strengths, and find areas of improvement. At the end of my presentation, I answered questions and I solicited feedback and constructive criticism about my work which is an important component of the research and writing process. With my internship halfway completed, Friday was an opportune time to take a step back from my work in order to reflect, present, and focus my research for my remaining five weeks.
This week, my work has consisted of revising portions of my copyright assessment. Senior ODC staff members Try and Chandara have been very helpful with their comments and have helped me to focus my research on topics that are important to ODC. I have been incorporating feedback from my presentation and revisiting portions of my paper that need to be supplemented with additional information. Specifically, I revisited the section of my paper on the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO). The LANGO can influence ODC’s freedom of expression by limiting its freedom of association and collaboration partners. ODC works closely with foreign entities to collaborate on development projects in Cambodia. ODC is dependent on these foreign entities for financial assistance and technical expertise. However, in order to operate in Cambodia, these foreign entities must gain approval from the appropriate public authority and must submit a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. This process is important for ODC because if the foreign association’s MOU is not approved, ODC may not be able to collaborate on development projects. I have expanded this section of my paper and detailed specific steps ODC can take to ensure MOUs are approved. I have also begun completing preliminary steps for the next Part of my paper on internal copyright and the governance of ODC. I formulated a questionnaire that I will be using to guide my discussions with ODC staff members who I will be interviewing next week. I hope that these discussions will provide more insight into content ownership and governance of the platform.
Last weekend, Lauren and I traveled to Siem Reap! Siem Reap was the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries and it is known for the famous Angkor temples and ruins. We rented bicycles for the weekend and explored the entire complex! I was surprised by the amount of detail and uniqueness of each temple. I enjoyed exploring Ta Prohm, the “Tomb Raider Temple,” which has been slowly reclaimed by nature. However, my favorite temples were the climbable temple mountains!