[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] Today Creative Commons published a policy analysis covering several copyright-related issues presented in the draft intellectual property chapter of EU-Mercosur free trade agreement. We examine issues that would be detrimental to the public domain, creativity and sharing, and user rights in the digital age.
[Drugs for Neglected Diseases press release, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] Malaysia has issued a “government use” licence enabling access to more affordable versions of an expensive and patented medicine to treat hepatitis C. This landmark decision should help the more than 400,000 people living with hepatitis C in Malaysia access sofosbuvir, and could have important repercussions in the global effort to secure access to expensive treatments for this viral disease.
[Originally posted on michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade has been conducting hearings on the NAFTA negotiations. I appeared before the committee yesterday on a panel that included the dairy industry, food and beverage sector, and my comments on IP and e-commerce. The MPs showed considerable interest in both IP and e-commerce, asking questions about notice-and-notice, fair use, copyright balance, the public domain, and the privacy implications of the e-commerce chapter.
My opening remarks are posted below.
Abstract: The debate on convergence and divergence has garnered considerable attention from policymakers and commentators involved in regulatory developments in Asia. The recent completion of the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the still ongoing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have added fuel to this debate. Given the different leadership in these two mega-regional agreements and the exclusion of many RCEP parties from the TPP negotiations, it will be interesting to see how the agreements will affect the future efforts to set regional intellectual property standards. It will also be curious to see whether the draft and finalized standards could reveal policy preferences of the participating countries.
SPARC Europe, Link (CC-BY)
SPARC Europe is leading and collaborating with an international coalition in an effort to halt the adoption of harmful provisions found in the current draft of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and certain amendments, which could threaten Open Access and Open Science.
The coalition has written an open letter directed at the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee, which was delivered 6th September. In the letter, we urge for the removal of proposals that would restrict access to research and place administrative and legal burdens on institutional repositories. We also request improvements on proposals related to text and data mining, copyright in an education setting, and preservation and access to works for non-commercial endeavors.
[William New, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-SA] The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced an “out-of-cycle” review of Thailand’s intellectual property policies after what USTR said were reports of improvement on several IP issues including trademarks and enforcement. Another area of the review will be pharmaceuticals. USTR Robert Lighthizer announced the review of Thailand’s status under the US “Special 301” process that unilaterally assesses trading partners’ treatment of US intellectual property rights. Lighthizer was meeting in Washington, DC with Thailand’s Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn to “discuss ways to increase trade and reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Thailand.”
William Cross, Director, Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, NCSU Libraries
Association of Research Libraries Issue Brief (CC-BY)
Click here for the full Issue Brief (PDF)
Government Information at Risk
Access to government information is a fundamental principle in a democratic society. Particularly in the digital environment, government information is a driver for economic and social progress as well as a predicate for an informed citizenry. From 2009 through 2016, open government was a hallmark of the Obama administration, which observed that, “openness in government strengthens our democracy, promotes the delivery of efficient and effective services to the public, and contributes to economic growth.”
[Jeremy Malcolm and Jyoti Panday in EFF Deeplinks Blog, Link (CC-BY)] Provisions on digital trade are quietly being squared away in both of the two major trade negotiations currently underway—the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade talks. But due to the worst-ever standards of transparency in both of these negotiations, we don’t know which provisions are on the table, which have been agreed, and which remain unresolved. The risk is that important and contentious digital issues—such as rules on copyright or software source code—might become bargaining chips in negotiation over broader economic issues including wages, manufacturing and dispute resolution, and that we would be none the wiser until after the deals have been done.
International Centre for Trade and Development, Link (CC-BY-NC)
ICTSD is pleased to publish the fourth issue in the CEIPI-ICTSD series on Global Perspectives and Challenges for the Intellectual Property System produced jointly with the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI). The new issue, edited by Pedro Roffe and Xavier Seuba, explores the impact of plurilateralism on intellectual property law.
[Commons Network, Link (CC-BY)] In early October, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote on the Digital Single Market copyright legislation. Here we would like to express our alarm at the direction EU copyright legislation is taking. We are profoundly concerned that a number of proposals, including Article 11 and Article 13, will mean disproportionate restrictions on the fundamental right of freedom of information as well as the creation of new and costly barriers and administrative burdens for adopted EU policies mandating open access, open education and open science.
Abstract: This article attempts to understand the legitimacy and limitations of US involvement in another country’s sovereign actions taken expressly in the public interest, or to protect public health, such as the compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals. The first section takes the example of compulsory licensing as a legitimate sovereign action and delineates its scope in the light of the international trade obligations under TRIPS.
[Originally posted in The Conversation, Link (CC-BY-SA)] . As the new school year approaches, Canadian universities are grappling with the Federal Court of Canada’s recent copyright decision against York University.
The court ruled that York could not rely on its fair dealing policy and per-use licensing to copy works as a part of course packs, but must pay millions of dollars in licensing fees to Access Copyright, which sells blanket copyright licenses to organizations.