Nov 252014

sotc2[Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] At its heart, Creative Commons is a simple idea. It’s the idea that when people share their creativity and knowledge with each other, amazing things can happen.

It’s not a new idea. People have been adapting and building on each other’s work for centuries. Musicians sample beats from each other’s music. Artists create entirely new works from other people’s images. Teachers borrow each other’s activities and lesson plans. Scientists build off of each other’s results to make new discoveries. Continue reading »

Nov 242014

South_Centre_Logo_New_EnglishResearch Paper 56. South Centre.

Executive Summary: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) suffers from numerous communicable and non-communicable diseases, with significant socio-economic effects, and adversely impacting the development prospects of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these diseases are treatable but access to affordable medicines remains a huge challenge in the region. A particular obstacle to access to medicines is the high, prohibitive costs of medicines enabled by the existence of patents. Patents grant the right holder a monopoly on the patented pharmaceutical for at least 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application, thereby curtailing competition by giving the patent holder freedom to set prices, which in many instances is simply unaffordable to persons who need the medicines. Continue reading »

Nov 242014

msf big square cropped[Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign] The European Union’s (EU) free trade and research and development (R&D) policies promote excessive intellectual property (IP) protection. This approach jeopardises access to affordable, needed medicines and impedes needs-driven biomedical innovation. Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign and our partners at HAI Europe and Oxfam are offering policy-makers seven straight-forward solutions that could transform harmful trade and R&D policy. By taking these solutions on board, the EU could enhance medicines access and pharmaceutical innovation in the EU and around the world.

Download the full document (PDF)

Nov 192014

wipo logo[Prepared by Kenneth Crews for the 29th Session of the SCCR, Link INTRODUCTION:  A study of copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization and delivered in 2008, provided a foundation for the subsequent consideration and evaluation of the issues by delegates from the WIPO member states.[1] The original study was conducted by Dr. Kenneth D. Crews on behalf of WIPO, and he was again commissioned to be the principal investigator for the present 2014 report. This report offers a significant update and expansion of the 2008 study. First, the combined 2008 and 2014 studies offer analysis of the copyright laws from all but one of the WIPO member countries. Second, this 2014 project identifies countries that have revised their relevant statutes since completion of the 2008 report. These statutory revisions confirm an ongoing need for legal change and reveal specifically the relevant copyright issues on which lawmakers in diverse countries have taken legislative attention. Continue reading »

Nov 182014

eifl[Electronic Information for Libraries press release, Link (CC-BY)] After five years, it was time to update the 2009 EIFL Draft Law on Copyright in the light of legislative developments, current thinking on copyright policy, and library services enabled by new technologies. As a result, we have amended some of the exceptions and limitations, while introducing new provisions. We have also refreshed the layout and design of the document.

The EIFL Draft Law on Copyright including Model Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and their Users (2014) is a practical guide to assist librarians, as well as their legal advisors and policy-makers, when national laws are being updated. It is designed to support access to knowledge and the public interest mission of libraries. Continue reading »

Nov 172014
K.M. Gopakumar

K.M. Gopakumar

Letter sent by Kalyani Menon-Sen, Leena Menghaney, and KM Gopakumar on behalf of the Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab

We write to you on behalf of the Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab, a network of treatment activists, patients and public interest lawyers committed to making the breast cancer drug – trastuzumab – affordable in India. We have closely followed the misuse of patent rights and more recently the vexatious litigation of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd in India to maintain control over the market for the life saving drug (trastuzumab), thus blocking access to treatment for many women diagnosed and suffering from HER2+ breast cancer.

This letter is to express our grave concern about the intent and purpose of the “Innovation Dialog” being organised in India from November 16-22, 2014 by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPOA).
Nov 172014

indonesia-flagAhmad M. Ramli, the Law and Human Rights head of Indonesia’s Intellectual Property Rights Directorate General, recently told the Jakarta Post that the government will introduce tough new IPR enforcement measures next year.  According to the story, he “said that the government would increase its efforts to combat copyright piracy across the archipelago. They planned to increase the detention period for violating intellectual property rights from the current four years to 10 years. Perpetrators would also be fined Rp 4 billion (US$ 327,895). ‘We will also detain merchants of fake products for four years,’ he said, adding that they would apply sanctions against every mall permitting outlets to sell fake products.” Continue reading »

Nov 172014

india-flag[Official Indian govt. release] Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has constituted an IPR Think Tank to draft the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy and to advise the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on IPR issues. … Interested persons may send their comments in respect of the proposed National IPR Policy for consideration by the said IPR Think Tank through the dedicated e-mail ID, i.e.,, positively by 30.11.2014.

Click here for the full notice from the Government of India.

Nov 142014
Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

I recently served on an expert panel convened by the Royal Society of Canada to do a report on the future of libraries and archives in the country.  That report has now been published – The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory.  It’s gotten press coverage so far from the Ottawa Citizen and Quill and Quire.

The report explores how libraries and archives can best adopt to changing digital technologies and cultural practices. An excerpt from the executive summary, discussing the outcomes of the expert panel’s consultations, and offering specific recommendations, follows: Continue reading »

Nov 122014

un trade and human rights coverThe following is an excerpt from  Pacific Trade & Human Rights, a joint report by the World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Development Programme.  The lead authors are Lloyd Lipsett, Miranda Forsyth, Selim Raihan, and Wesley Morgan.

Click here for the full report.

This case study on Vanuatu highlights the human rights dimension of the connection between trade agreements, intellectual property rights (IPR) and traditional knowledge (TK) in Pacific Island Countries. IPR are linked to the enjoyment of a range of economic, social and cultural rights, the rights to health, education, and food in particular. [91] However, it is often very challenging to get a comprehensive understanding of the exact nature of the relationship between IPR and human rights in a particular country or region, as local contexts have a profound effect on their inter-relationship. Continue reading »

Nov 102014

opencon[SPARC, Link (CC-BY)] OpenCon 2014 is the student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 15-17, 2014 in Washington, DC. It is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world.

The meeting will convene students and early career researchers from around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation of scholars and researchers to advance OpenCon’s three focus areas—Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. Participants for the conference will be selected through an application process which will open in August. Full and partial travel scholarships will be available to cover the cost of attendance for qualified participants.

Click here for more on

Nov 102014

communia[John Hendrik Weitzmann, Communia Assoc., Link, (CC0)]  Last week Communia joined the “European Observatory on Infringements of IPR” which is hosted by the European Union’s Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). The Observatory’s task is to provide the EU Commission with insights on every aspect of IPR infringement. It does so primarily by conducting surveys and studies on how, where and why IP rights are violated by whom and to what extent. In addition is helps coordinate across borders the efforts of various institutions involved in law enforcement. It also runs general as well as focussed awareness campaigns in the field of IP. This is done in conjunction with a permanent stakeholder dialogue, which is organized in working groups and a yearly plenary. Continue reading »