American University Washington College of Law’s Program and Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the American University International Law Review (“AUILR”) seek submissions for a AUILR Focus Issue on International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy. A symposium for the issue will be held on March 18, 2016. Scholarships are available for accepted authors.
[Meera Nair, Fair Duty Blog, Link (CC-BY)] My last post focused on a very one-sided report bemoaning the fortunes (or lack thereof) of the educational publishing industry. That industry apparently needs our support in the form of continued high-priced payments. This, without regard for either developments in law or legitimate and innovative efforts on the part of the educational community to lighten the financial burden imposed on students, parents and taxpayers.
The South African government has introduced a draft Cybercrimes & Cybersecurity Bill for public comment. The Bill states that anyone who “sells, offers for download, distributes, or otherwise makes available” copyrighted works “by means of a computer network or an electronic communications network” will be guilty of an offense. Penalties include fines or up to three years imprisonment.
EFF Deeplinks Blog, Link (CC-BY)
A bill extending the term of copyright by an additional 45 years—almost doubling it, in the case of corporate and government works—sailed through the Jamaican Senate on June 26, after having passed the House of Representatives on June 9. The copyright term in Jamaica is now 95 years from the death of the author, or 95 years from publication for government and corporate works. This makes it the third-longest copyright term in the world, after Mexico and Côte d’Ivoire respectively with 100 and 99 years from the death of the author.
Abstract: Sharing research data by depositing it in connection with a published article or otherwise making data publicly available sometimes raises intellectual property questions in the minds of depositing researchers, their employers, their funders, and other researchers who seek to reuse research data. In this context or in the drafting of data management plans, common questions are (1) what are the legal rights in data; (2) who has these rights; and (3) how does one with these rights use them to share data in a way that permits or encourages productive downstream uses? Leaving to the side privacy and national security laws that regulate sharing certain types of data, this Perspective explains how to work through the general intellectual property and contractual issues for all research data.
Carroll MW (2015) Sharing Research Data and Intellectual Property Law: A Primer. PLoS Biol 13(8): e1002235. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002235
Jennifer Urban and I just published a short version of our work on notice and takedown in the Communications of the ACM (currently paywalled but accessible through most universities). Here’s the general argument:
As automated systems became common, the number of takedown requests increased dramatically. For some online services, the numbers of complaints went from dozens or hundreds per year to hundreds of thousands or millions. In 2009, Google’s search service received less than 100 takedown requests. In 2014, it received 345 million requests. Although Google is the extreme outlier, other services—especially those in the copyright ‘hot zones’ around search, storage, and social media—saw order-of-magnitude increases. Many others—through luck, obscurity, or low exposure to copyright conflicts—remained within the “DMCA Classic” world of low-volume notice and takedown.
This split in the application of the law undermined the rough industry consensus about what services did to keep their safe harbor protection. As automated notices overwhelmed small legal teams, targeted services lost the ability to fully vet the complaints they received. Because companies exposed themselves to high statutory penalties if they ignored valid complaints, the safest path afforded by the DMCA was to remove all targeted material. Some companies did so. Some responded by developing automated triage procedures that prioritized high-risk notices for human review (most commonly, those sent by individuals).
Others began to move beyond the statutory requirements in an effort to reach agreement with rights holder groups and, in some cases, to reassert some control over the copyright disputes on their services.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a highly secretive trade agreement being negotiated between the US and eleven Pacific Rim countries, including Australia. Having obtained a fast-track authority from the United States Congress, US President Barack Obama is keen to finalise the deal. However, he was unable to achieve a resolution of the deal at recent talks in Hawaii on the TPP. A number of chapters of the TPP will affect the creative artists, cultural industries and internet freedom – including the intellectual property chapter, the investment chapter, and the electronic commerce chapter.
Abstract: Much of the literature on the three-step test focuses on its implementation in relation to one particular intellectual property regime only, usually copyright. That approach tends to limit analysis of the test to a comparison of the different steps of the test with each other. Such an approach is valuable, but it does not provide the full picture. What is missing is a comparison of the same step within the different versions of the test.
[Maryant Fernández Pérez, EDRi, Link (CC-BY)] On 30 July 2015, copyright and related rights-holders associations, the General Inspection of Cultural Activities (IGAC), the Portuguese Consumer Directorate-General, the Portuguese Association of Telecom Operators, the organisation responsible for .pt domain registrations DNS.PT, the anti-“piracy” group MAPINET, advertising associations, and (unidentified) consumer associations agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at protecting copyright and related rights online.
This “self-regulatory” agreement, facilitated and promoted by the Portuguese government, is expected to enter into force around mid-August 2015. Although it has not been published, parts of its content have been reported by Portuguese news sites and the parties involved.
Cross posted from the Third World Network page on IP and Access to Medicines.
SUMMARY: Biologics at monopoly prices are extremely expensive and are a growing share of medicines, including life-saving medicines. The latest leaked TPP IP chapter proposes a monopoly of up to 12 years for biologics, even when they are not patented.
Therefore what is defined as a ‘biologic’ that gets this exclusivity period for up to 7 years longer than chemical medicines in the leaked TPP IP chapter is very important.
Abstract: For the most part, library uses of physical objects embodying copyright protected works occur outside the purview of copyright and of the market. Loan of physical books falls outside the copyright owner’s exclusive rights; uses that might otherwise invoke them, such as the making of copies for interlibrary loans, have been explicitly carved out through exceptions. Authors are remunerated for Australian library uses via statutory public lending rights, which use distinctly non-market considerations in distribution.
Cross posted from Afro Leo, Link (CC-BY)
As reported by Jeremy Speres (here) South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill, 2015 has been published for public comment. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lined up several stakeholder consultations, one of which was held on 13 August 2015. The consultation process is intended to culminate in a Copyright Amendment Bill Conference on 27 August 2015.