Apr 242017

Timothy Vollmer, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)

Later this week in Toronto we’ll be joining hundreds of Creative Commons community members, supporters, and activists at the CC Global Summit. The summit program will feature keynotes and a variety of sessions organized around five tracks, including Policy & Advocacy, the Useable Commons, Community & Movement, Spheres of Open, and the Future of the Commons. Continue reading »

Apr 242017

Authors: Christophe Geiger, Oleksandr Bulayenko, and Giancarlo F. Frosio

Abstract: This article discusses the proposed introduction in EU law of neighbouring rights for press publishers for the digital uses of their publications. This proposal is included in the European Commission’s Draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market of 14 September 2016, which forms an important part of the ongoing reform of copyright at EU level. This article highlights the challenges for the Digital Single Market associated with the establishment of an additional layer of 28 national rights and their related exceptions and limitations. By reference to the “pie theory”, it also shows how this proposal risks redistributing resources from creators to publishers. Continue reading »

Apr 232017

Agreement seeks to improve health options for hepatitis C patients in low- and middle-income countries  

[Medicines Patent Pool Press Release, Link] Amsterdam, Netherlands, 21 April 2017 —The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced a new licence and technology transfer agreement with Egyptian company Pharco Pharmaceuticals for ravidasvir (RAV), an investigational direct-acting antiviral (DAA) with the potential of working across all six major hepatitis C genotypes. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, will enable competitive supply of RAV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including high prevalence nations Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Iran. Continue reading »

Apr 192017

[Riyadh Al Balushi, Link (CC-BY-SA)]  Kuwait passed a new Copyright and Neighbouring rights Law in June 2016. This is new law replaces the 1999 copyright law – the first copyright law that Kuwait ever had. This new law is probably motivated by Kuwait’s accession to the Berne Convention in 2014.

The new Kuwaiti Copyright Law of 2016 does not give authors drastically more rights than what they used to. Both the 1999 and the 2016 laws offer a broadly worded economic rights section that does NOT restrict economic rights to specific activities such as reproducing, adapting, performing, etc, but instead widely state that the author has the right to permit and prohibit the use and exploitation of his works and provide reproduction, adaptation, performance, and other rights as examples of the rights that authors have over their works. This obviously goes beyond what is required by the Berne Convention and all other copyright treaties. Continue reading »

Apr 182017

Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

The following letter was sent by 80+ organizations to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. For a printable PDF, click here.

We, the undersigned businesses, industry groups, civil society organizations, and transparency advocates, write to express our strong support for the bipartisan Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (S. 760). This bill, which unanimously passed the Senate in 2016, would establish a comprehensive policy across the federal government to ensure that government data is accessible to the public by default. Continue reading »

Apr 182017

Abstract: Colombian copyright law does not expressly incorporate plagiarism as a crime. Nonetheless, Colombian courts have proclaimed plagiarism to be an act worthy of incarceration. Colombian copyright law protects moral rights of the author as human rights. In this regard, moral rights enjoy special protection that economic rights, for instance, do not have. Somewhat counter-intuitively, protecting moral rights as human rights, without set boundaries, may unbalance the copyright system and even violate other human rights, which is the case in Colombia. Continue reading »

Apr 172017

[Joint comment endorsed by 14 organizations, listed below] We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to implement without further delay Department of Education Rule 2 C.F.R. § 3474.20 for “Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs,” which ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department discretionary grant funds are openly licensed. We strongly support this rule, and encourage you to move ahead with its implementation immediately upon conclusion of this extension period. Continue reading »

Apr 152017

[Parminder Jeet Singh, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)  The World Wide Web today stands at a crossroads, as its standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), considers the demand of big content providers to provide them with the facility to be able to control user devices for ensuring that their content is not copied. This facility is called the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), which enables these companies to put digital rights management (DRM) into the user’s browser, whether the user wants it or not, and whether such restrictions are as per the user’s local national laws or not. Continue reading »

Apr 152017

Author: Lucas Osborn

Abstract: Market economies are based on free competition, which can include copying. Yet intellectual property protection in the United States prohibits copying in certain circumstances to incentivize innovation and creativity. New breeds of digital works are challenging our historical application of intellectual property law. These include certain categories of software programs as well as digital manufacturing files. The problem is that these new works look deceptively like works from a previous era, and thus courts might languorously treat them as they have older works. This would be a mistake. Continue reading »

Mar 312017

Photo: Javler Micora (CC-BY)

Natalia Mileszyk, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)

One might think that the debate on the ancillary copyright for press publishers is over – both  JURI Rapporteur  MEP Therese Comodini Cachia and IMCO Rapporteur Catherine Stihler rejected the Commission’s proposal to  provide publishers with a competitive advantage by using copyright legislation. Unfortunately, even with such progressive voices, the misconceptions about the ancillary copyright were still visible even during last weeks  Legal Affairs Committee hearing , where MEPs seemed not to understand that aggregators help news outlets gain a larger audience. And the debate in media on this issue was never more heated and polarized. Continue reading »

Mar 312017

Decision enables price reductions and scale-up of treatment that leads to cure in 95% of cases

[Médecins Sans Frontières, Link] Treatment for hepatitis C using the key drug sofosbuvir could be vastly scaled up in Brazil after the decision by the National Agency of Health Surveillance (Anvisa) to reject a key patent application on the drug marketed by pharmaceutical corporation Gilead. The decision could pave the way to enable generic competition in Brazil, which should lead to price reductions, making it more affordable to scale up treatment. Continue reading »

Mar 302017

Here is the Trump administration’s draft notice of intent to renegotiate NAFTA, which was put out by Inside U.S. Trade.  The administration says many elements of the agreement as it currently stands are “clearly outdated,” and that FTA provisions on intellectual property rights have been “improved in newer trade agreements.”

A few excerpts of interest to readers of this blog follow.  These are what are listed in the letter as “specific negotiating objectives.” Continue reading »