[Ombudsman Press Release, Link] The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has called on the Council of the European Union to publish the EU negotiating directives for the on-going Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the US. She has also proposed to the European Commission a range of practical measures to enable timely public access to TTIP documents, and to details of meetings with stakeholders. She has opened investigations involving both institutions.
[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] We are pleased to announce that the Centre for Internet and Society will be hosting the fourth edition of the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest at New Delhi, India, tentatively in the first two weeks of December, 2015. This post seeks your participation and invites your queries and suggestions for the event.
On July 25, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the version of cell phone unlocking legislation adopted ten days earlier by the Senate. President Obama promptly announced that he would sign the legislation, bringing at least a short-term resolution to a controversy that had burst into the public eye early in 2013. The underlying issue, however, has much deeper roots, stretching back to the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998. Moreover, the legislation only temporarily permits consumers to unlock their cell phones to access other mobile networks. In 2015, the Librarian of Congress will determine whether to renew this permission for another three years. A permanent solution to this problem appears precluded by the free trade agreements to which the United States is a party. This paper examines the legal background of this matter.
[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Action Campaign, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] On World Hepatitis Day, 26 organisations and individuals from around the world have called on the South African Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the public health threat of hepatitis, by implementing hepatitis B immunisation at birth, and reforming national patent laws to promote access to more affordable hepatitis therapies.
Inside US Trade reports that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators are “down to a dozen issues” in the intellectual property chapter. However, these are among the most difficult issues remaining. The remaining unsolved issues include intellectual property and access to medicines (which is really a set of different issues), where countries are still split on what the obligations should be for low and middle income countries. Additionally, Congressional Democrats recently met with Froman, where they produced a memo warning that the TPP doesn’t reflect the May 10th agreement on data protection, linkage, and patent term extensions in developing countries.
I would like to draw your attention to a copyright case in Colombia in which biology student Diego Gomez is facing criminal charges after sharing a Master Thesis written by another Colombian biologist (without asking for permission) in 2011 on the Internet. We believe this case is evidence of exaggerated criminal copyright laws, and also evidence of the need to rethink the way that science circulates. I can give more information to those of you that might be interested.
[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants.
The full letter is available here. An excerpt follows:
Readers of this blog may be interested in checking out the text of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed on July 8. The intellectual property chapter contains many of the copyright, trademark, and enforcement provisions under debate in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. It also contains provisions on plant varieties and geographical indications. (Patents are included, but are not covered as extensively as other forms of IPR).
[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Action Campaign, Link (CC-BY)] In 2011, the UN and member states set a goal of reaching 15 million people on AIDS treatment by 2015—a goal many questioned but that will be met next year. Since then, evidence and tools available have changed and it is clear that simply tracking testing and treatment is not good enough. Critically, it is now clear that suppressing the HIV virus with high-quality HIV drugs keeps people living with HIV alive and healthy while also preventing HIV transmission.
[Krista Cox, Association of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] The written testimony of four of the five witnesses speaking at the July 15, 2014 House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty and Copyright Term, address the issue of copyright term. Notably, none of these witnesses suggest that the current term be extended further and Professor of Law Michael Carroll argues that the current term of protection is too long. Although the other witnesses did not propose extension of copyright, it should be noted that Rick Carnes, President of the Songwriters Guild of America, asserts that the current copyright term in the United States is appropriate and should not be shortened.
[Cross posted from the European Open Edu Policy Project, Link (CC-BY)] It is well known that the rules that allow for certain educational uses of copyrighted works under certain conditions without permission of the rights’ owners vary greatly between countries. But how different are those rules? And how difficult is to access those differences? Can a teacher with no legal background determine alone whether a certain use is allowed or not in his/her country?
[MPP Press Release, Link (CC-BY-NC-ND)] Geneva – 17 July 2014. Three days before the start of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced seven new sub-licensing agreements for the manufacture of generic HIV medicines, atazanavir (ATV) and dolutegravir (DTG). The United Nations-backed MPP negotiates licences with key patent holders to speed access of low-cost, generic medicines to developing countries. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with Bristol Myers-Squibb, Gilead Sciences, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, the US National Institutes of Health and ViiV Healthcare for eight antiretrovirals (ARVs) and one medicine for an HIV opportunistic infection.