Following Prime Minister Modi’s statement at the US-India Business Council yesterday that “India is ready to accept suggestions made by a joint working group with the United States on intellectual property rights,” patient and civil society groups have responded:
[La Quadrature du Net, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] Yesterday, MEP Julia Reda presented in the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament a report on the harmonization of copyright in Europe. She tables modest but welcome proposals for a reform of copyright, several of which have been supported by La Quadrature du Net.
Noting that many problems remain in the harmonization at European level, and the failure of the current Directive to address users’ needs and practices, the German MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) proposes to act on different levers to strengthen user rights. Her report especially encourages the promotion of the Public Domain, bringing down copyright term from 70 to 50 years after the author’s death. She also asks for all exceptions to copyright contained in the current Directive to become mandatory, so that no EU citizen can be deprived of their benefit by a too restrictive national legislation.
[Joint Letter from 12 American NGOs] We write as American organizations in advance of your trip to India this month to ask you to support India’s central role in providing high-quality, low-cost generic medicines—which are essential for health care around the world. Recent U.S. policy stances have sought to topple parts of India’s intellectual property regime that protect public health in order to advance the interests of multinational pharmaceutical corporations in longer, stronger, and broader exclusive patent and related monopoly rights. India’s laws fully comply with the WTO TRIPS Agreement. Millions around the world depend on affordable generic medicines that would disappear if India acceded to these proposals, including many beneficiaries of US-funded programs. Instead of using your trip to promote the narrow interests of one segment of the pharmaceutical industry, we ask you to support the interests of people who need affordable medicines, whether they live in the U.S., in India, in Africa or elsewhere. Our world is safer and healthier because of India’s pro-health stance and we ask you to say so publicly while you are there.
January 26, 2015 | 9:30 – 2:30
American University School of International Service
Printable agenda & directions (PDF)
Co-hosted by the AU School of International Service and AU Washington College of Law’s Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy
The event will be streamed live at http://bit.ly/1ExHnX9.
[Press Release from Juliareda.eu, Link, (CC-BY)] EU copyright rules are maladapted to the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet, an upcoming European Parliament own-initiative report evaluating 2001’s copyright directive finds. The draft released today by Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party, lays out an ambitious reform agenda for the overhaul of EU copyright announced in the Commission’s 2015 work programme.
“The EU copyright directive was written in 2001, in a time before YouTube or Facebook. Although it was meant to adapt copyright to the digital age, in reality it is blocking the exchange of knowledge and culture across borders today“, Reda explains. “We need a common European copyright that safeguards fundamental rights and makes it easier to offer innovative online services in the entire European Union.”
[Reposted from technollama.com, Link, CC-BY-NC)] Some weeks ago I was asked to comment on whether tweets are subject to copyright protection. Unsurprisingly, this is a common question that gets asked over and over again, as some of the information online is contradictory and misleading, or refers to other jurisdictions.
Do we have an answer in the UK? Sadly, the question has remained open because there has not been a direct case that deals with the issue, and the lack of litigation creates uncertainty in some people’s minds. The situation is made more complex by the diverse nature of Twitter, a tweet can be text, but it can also be made of pictures, gifs, vines, and even embedded videos. We’ll deal with these separately.
As you may have noticed last night in the SOTU, trade secrecy (and trade secret law reform) remains on the national radar screen. Thus, I’m pleased to report that Sharon Sandeen and I have co-authored Here Come the Trade Secret Trolls, published today in the Washington & Lee Law Review Online: http://lawreview.journals.wlu.io/here-come-the-trade-secret-trolls/.
The abstract is below:
[Ernesto, TorrentFreak, Link (CC-BY-NC)] A Greek anti-piracy group has lost its bid to have various torrent sites blocked by local Internet providers. The Athens Court ruled that barring access to torrent sites such as KickassTorrents and The Pirate Bay is disproportionate and unconstitutional, while hindering the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms.
We’re pleased to welcome on board National Law University, New Delhi (“NLU-D”), as our Institutional Partner. NLU-D will be the venue for the Congress, later this year. (http://www.nludelhi.ac.in/)
[Theresa Hackett, EIFL, Link (CC-BY)] “Copyright divide in numbers”, the graph on the first page of the newly launched ‘The Copyright Manifesto. How the European Union should Support Innovation and Creativity through Copyright Reform’ tells a story. In an illustration of the results of the European Union’s (EU) 2014 consultation on copyright, publishers, authors and collective management organizations express strong support for the current system, while end users and institutional users (such as libraries) are strongly in favour of copyright reform. So if copyright is supposed to benefit everyone, the copyright system sure isn’t working for everyone.
[Rishika for the Centre for Internet and Society, Link (CC-BY)] In the year 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conducted a study on different national approaches to copyright exception for persons with disabilities. Over 60 countries have an exception in their Copyright laws permitting conversion of works into accessible formats for the benefit of persons who cannot read print. The scope of the exception varies, in terms of the beneficiaries covered, formats permitted, restrictions on who can convert, etc.
[Federal Register Notice from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Link] …USTR is hereby requesting written submissions from the public concerning foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection…
Dates/Deadlines: The schedule and deadlines for the 2015 Special 301 review are as follows: