May 222017

Authors: Patricia Aufderheide, Aram Sinnreich, Louisa Imperiale and Carolyn Silvernail

Abstract: This study tracks changes in behavior and attitude among visual arts professionals after the development of a code of best practices in the copyright doctrine of fair use. A survey of 2,400 professionals fielded only months after its publication demonstrated broad awareness of the code, informing practice and inspiring efforts to spread awareness. The greatest degree of awareness and change was among editors, several of whose publications altered their copyright policies. Continue reading »

May 222017

Joint statement by the Internaiontal Federation of Library Associations and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (Link, CC-BY)

IFLA and EBLIDA sincerely wish to be able to welcome wholeheartedly the compromise agreement on the Marrakesh Treaty Directive reached on 10th May by representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. However, together with the European Blind Union, we reject entirely the notion in the agreement that the fundamental public interest activities of non-profit libraries and charities in creating and sharing accessible format books may, in some Member States, give rise to ‘compensation’ to rightholders. Continue reading »

May 192017

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Joint letter signed by 43 civil society organizations

Dear Ministers: As organisations representing health professionals and health advocates from countries that are signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), we write to convey our deep concerns about reports that some of the remaining TPP parties are considering resurrecting the TPP following the U.S. withdrawal, and to reiterate concerns raised with you previously regarding its negative impacts on people’s right to health, access to affordable medicines, and the ability of governments to regulate health-damaging activities of corporations. Continue reading »

May 192017

[ReCreate press release, Link (CC-BY)]  As the Trump Administration notifies Congress of its intent to negotiate changes to NAFTA, the Re:Create Coalition today issued a statement urging the Office of the United States Trade Representative to include language on copyright limitations and exceptions, including fair use, if copyright law is part of the negotiations: Continue reading »

May 182017

[, Link (CC-BY)] The federal government placed a big bet in this year’s budget on Canada becoming a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), investing millions of dollars on a national strategy to support research and commercialization. The hope is that by attracting high-profile talent and significant corporate support, the government can turn a strong AI research record into an economic powerhouse. Funding and personnel have been the top policy priorities, yet other barriers to success remain. For example, Canada’s restrictive copyright rules may hamper the ability of companies and researchers to test and ultimately bring new AI services to market. Continue reading »

May 182017

USTR Lighthizer

Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), via a letter to Congressional leadership. The letter is less detailed than last March’s draft notification, and unlike the March draft, it includes no specific negotiating objectives.  Rather, the letter that was sent today notes “our aim is that NAFTA be modernized to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs, procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.” The letter also says that the Administration will develop negotiating positions that are consistent with the objectives found in Section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.   Continue reading »

May 112017

Jeremy de Beer, Jeremiah Baarbé, Caroline Ncube
Open AIR Working Paper #4; LINK

Innovation policy is important for economic growth and human development.[1] Countries across Africa are, therefore, developing policy to encourage innovation.[2] Measures that address intellectual property (IP) in a locally relevant way are integral to the broader innovation landscape.

IP policy is complex and controversial because it seeks to balance protection of, and access to, knowledge. Policy that leads to either an absence or overabundance of proprietary IP rights may discourage innovation.[3] Domestic policymakers may look to research showing that strict IP protection economically advantages developed countries while disadvantaging developing countries.[4] Similarly, they may be presented with research supporting a contrary view.[5] Evidence-based IP policy-making is, therefore, not always easy.[6] Continue reading »

Licensing Open Government Data

 Posted by on May 10, 2017  No Responses »
May 102017

Author: Jyh-An Lee

Abstract: Governments around the world create and collect an enormous and wide-ranging amount of data. For various social, political, and economic reasons, open data has become a popular government practice and international movement in recent years. It is estimated that more than 250 national or local governments from around 50 developed and developing countries have launched open government data (OGD) initiatives. Open data policies are widely recognized as a tool to foster government transparency and economic growth. Businesses have also developed innovative applications, products, and services based on OGD.

Although OGD is a global movement, it faces a number of unsolved legal hurdles. Among others, it is critically important for participating governments to devise the most appropriate legal means of releasing data, and intellectual property (IP) licensing has been viewed as one of the main obstacles for governments in this regard. Consequently, entrepreneurs may hesitate to use or reuse government data if there is no reliable licensing or clear legal arrangement governing it. Continue reading »

May 082017

[Teresa Nobre, Communia Association, Link, (CC-0)] Today we publish the findings of a new study carried out by Teresa Nobre that intends to demonstrate the impact exerted by narrow educational exceptions in everyday practices. She accomplishes this purpose by analysing 15 educational scenarios involving the use of protected materials under the copyright laws of 15 European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. Continue reading »

May 082017

[Médecins Sans Frontières press release] The Philippines is set to host the 18th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement’s negotiations in Manila this week. Negotiators from the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six further countries – India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea –will meet to hammer out this multilateral trade deal that covers nearly half of the global population.

Japan and South Korea are pushing for measures that go beyond what is required by the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS), called ‘TRIPS-plus.’  This would mean extending drug corporations’ patent terms and entrenching new monopolies in the national drug regulatory system (‘data exclusivity’) in countries like India,  leading to a delay in generic competition, which translates into high drug prices for people across the world. Further, the proposed investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the leaked draft investment chapter and its intersection with other proposals on IP could potentially undermine governments’ capacity to implement and execute policies to protect public health and ensure universal healthcare, of which access to life-saving medicines is an essential component. Continue reading »

May 052017

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 5, 2017

Chair: I would like to support that aspect of the GRUAC proposal that focuses on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment as a top priority for this committee.

There is an increasing recognition that so-called non-expressive uses – uses necessary for technological processes that do not compete with the copyright owner – are necessary to enable the internet and the services that are offered over it. Continue reading »

May 052017

Author: Robert Spoo

Abstract: The chapter explores the founding rules of America’s protectionist copyright law, which openly encouraged the unauthorized reprinting of new foreign works, generated frenzied competition for those free resources, and set in motion a counter-practice of self-restraint among American publishers that came to be called the courtesy of the trade. Continue reading »