[South Africa Department of Trade and Industry, Link] The National Development Plan (NDP) calls for greater emphasis on innovation, improved productivity, more intensive pursuit of a knowledge economy and better exploitation of comparative and competitive advantages. Intellectual property (IP) is an important policy instrument in promoting innovation, technology transfer, research and development (R&D), industrial development and more broadly – economic growth.
STOP AIDS Press Release
July 19, 2016, Durban
At the 2016 International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, treatment access advocates presented a huge greeting card addressed to President Obama from Big Pharma to US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, thanking the US government for “doing big pharma’s bidding all over the world”.
The activists, acting in the role of Big Pharma execs, sang “we want to thank you, thank you” and chanted “USA! USA!” They lavished praise on the Ambassador for the US pursuit of the interests of the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of access to affordable medicines, including pressuring India to curtail its legal generic medicine industry, and attacks on an initiative of the UN Secretary General to address access to medicine challenges.
Dimitar Dimitrov, Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, Link, (CC-BY)
Thanks to synchronised interplay between our EU-level policy initiative and the steady work of our Belgian community, a new copyright exception allowing for thousands of new images on Wikimedia projects is now in place. But how exactly did this public policy ping pong work out?
Abstract: The boundaries between scientific and technological knowledge are nebulous in some technical fields, such as the biological sciences and their applications. This has led to the appropriation under patents of knowledge (such as on specific genes) of scientific nature, which may not only have negative effects for the further development of science and new technological contributions, but also encroach on the fundamental right of access to science.
[Charlie Fripp, htxt.africa, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] After a series of public consultations and written submissions, South Africa’s somewhat controversial Copyright Amendment Bill will be put before parliament this month. The Bill has been both praised and criticised by activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as its effects are potentially far-reaching. Minister Rob Davies in the Department of Trade and Industry made the announcement through a Government Gazette, published on 5th July.
The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Private Patents and Public Health, by Ellen ‘t Hoen. The full book is available online under a Creative Commons License here.
Millions of people around the world do not have access to the medicines they need to treat disease or alleviate suffering. Strict patent regimes interfere with widespread access to medicines by creating monopolies that maintain medicines prices well beyond the reach of those who need them.
The magnitude of the AIDS crisis in the late nineties brought this to the public’s attention when millions of people in developing countries died from an illness for which medicines existed, but were not available or affordable. Faced with an unprecedented health crisis—8,000 people dying daily—the public health community launched an unprecedented global effort that eventually resulted in the large-scale availability of quality generic HIV medicines and a steady scale-up in access to those medicines. This has allowed nearly 13 million people to lead longer, healthier lives. However, trends in international intellectual property law could impact many of the policy tools used to scale up HIV treatment.
[UK Intellectual Property Office, Link (OGL v3.0)] The meteoric rise of streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix may be having a chilling effect on illegal copyright infringement according to new research.
Kantar Media’s Online Copyright Infringement Tracker, commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office, has shown that over half (52%) of internet users consuming content online now use streaming services. While downloading content is becoming comparatively less popular (39%).
Presented by the Colombian civil society organizations:
CIMUN, Ifarma, Foundation, and Misión Salud (Link)
[Bogotá, Colombia 30th June, 2016 ] .. It is important for us to offer for your consideration, and for the consideration of the UN Secretary-General and UN Member States, a brief report on the specific situation we are currently facing in Colombia with regard to access to affordable medicines. This situation reflects both the urgent need for global governmental action that favors the human right to health as well as the need for strategies to address the pressure interests preventing governments and civil society from increasing access to affordable medicines using well-recognized and established legal flexibilities.
Abstract: In recent years, intellectual property enforcement by ordering Internet access providers to block infringing websites has been rapidly evolving in Europe. Understandable from the perspective of rightholders searching for the most efficient ways to stop infringing activities, this increasing tendency to seek for website blocking raises several interrelated legal questions. Those range from the extent to which new enforcement models should burden the freedom to conduct a business of intermediaries to how this practice affects the ability of Internet users to access information of their choice and exercise their freedom of expression in the online environment. Interestingly, the requests for blocking injunctions have also provoked counter-reactions, initiating a “breakthrough” in the European judiciary because of the recognition of user rights as enforceable rights of equal value to those of rightholders.
Submissions are due by 5pm on Monday, 8 August 2016
Consultation document (PDF)
On 11 July 2016, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released a consultation document seeking feedback on proposed regulations to implement the patent term extension provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill. The Bill will, when it enters into force, amend the Patents Act 2013 to provide for patent term extensions for:
- Unreasonable delays in patent grant; and
- Unreasonable curtailment of the effective patent term as a result of the Medsafe approval process.
Abstract: This article considers the dynamic evolution of copyright exceptions and limitations in the United States in light of new technological developments. There has been significant legal debate in the courts and in the United States Congress in respect of the scope of the defence of fair use. The copyright litigation over Google Books has been a landmark development in the modern history of copyright law. The victory by Google Inc. over The Authors Guild in the decade long copyright dispute is an important milestone on copyright law. The ruling of Leval J emphasizes the defence of fair use in the United States plays a critical role in promoting transformative creativity, freedom of speech, and innovation.
Anna Mazgal, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)
The right to quote is a pivotal element of science, study, critique, and art. By evoking somebody else’s words and creations we are able to enter into an intellectual dialog that is a foundation of our culture. Quotations substantiate scientific discourse and discovery of new knowledge. They are used widely in memes that have become a signature feature of social media.
Within the Best Case Scenarios for Copyright series, we present Finland as the best example for quotations. Below you can find the basic facts and for more evidence check the Best Case Scenario for Copyright – Quotations in Finland legal study. EU, it’s time to #fixcopyright!