Oct 302014

laurina-zhang-croppedAuthor: Laurina Zhang

Abstract: Digitization has impacted firm profitability in many media industries by lowering the cost of copying and sharing creative works. I examine the impact of digital rights management (DRM) – a prevalent strategy used by firms in media industries to address piracy concerns – on music sales. I exploit a natural experiment, where different labels remove DRM from their entire catalogue of music at different times, to examine whether relaxing an album’s sharing restrictions increases sales. Using a large sample of albums from all four major record labels, I find that removing DRM increases digital music sales by 10% but relaxing sharing restrictions does not impact all albums equally. It increases the sales of lower-selling albums (i.e., the “long tail”) significantly (30%) but does not benefit top-selling albums. These results suggest that the optimal strength of copyright depends on the distribution of products in firms’ portfolio.

Click here for the full paper on SSRN.

Oct 292014

weatherallAuthor: Kimberlee Weatherall. 

Abstract: This paper analyses certain key provisions of the leaked 16 May 2014 text of the TPP IP Chapter – mostly, the ones people haven’t been talking about: particularly the trade mark, designs, and geographical indications provisions, as well as rules regarding national treatment, the preamble or objectives clauses, and the criminal liability provisions. It also makes some limited comments about the interaction between the chapter and investor-state dispute settlement.

Cick here for the full paper on SSRN.

Oct 272014

OCTOBER 11, 2010 - Law professor David Levine. (Photo by Kim Walker)Trade secrecy, arguably the most active but least understood and studied of intellectual property’s doctrines, is on the rise. Over the past two years, there has been increased legislative activity in this space — the most since the revision of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1985. Most prominently, it has been the subject of an alarming report out of the White House documenting increasing risk to US corporations from state-sponsored cyberespionage. Based upon those significant but hard to quantify harms, bills have been introduce in Congress over the past few years designed to amplify the options for aggrieved companies. The perceived inadequacies in the current law have spurred the most recent legislation, known as the Defend Trade Secrets Act and Trade Secrets Protection Act. Continue reading »

Mapping Digital Media: Brazil

 Posted by on October 27, 2014  No Responses »
Oct 272014
world economic forum-cc-by-bc-sa

World Economic Forum CC-BY-NC-SA

[Jhessica Reia and Antonia Azambuja, Digital Rights LAC, Link, (CC-BY)] The 20th Century witnessed important technological and cultural transformations, which altered forms of production and consumption of content and news. As a result of an ever increasing process of digitization, media outlets are now faced with a new scenario and the need consider transforming their production processes, and even cutting back in some areas. However, not all countries came out of this digital transition in the same way, making it difficult to survey such a dynamic scenario and analyze the media of today and the media of tomorrow. As a result of the need to understand this moment and of the preponderant role that the access to abundant and reliable information must play in the establishing of democratic processes, a research and advocacy project arose, named Mapping Digital Media. Continue reading »

Oct 232014

JK at TOCTERA Associates has released a follow up to their 2010 study on the impact of “piracy” on creative industries in the European Union.  The new study, entitled “The Economic Contribution of the Creative Industries to EU GDP and Employment,” makes three arguments:

1)     That the creative industries include 8.3 million “core” creative jobs and 5.7 million “interdependent” and “non-dedicated support” jobs, totaling 14% of the EU27 workforce and contributing 6.8% of GDP (€ 860 billion).

2)     That between 2008 and 2011, piracy “destroyed” € 27.1 – 39.7 billion in economic value, resulting in a loss of between 64,089 and 955,125 jobs.  According to TERA’s forecast, these numbers are likely to climb to € 166-240 billion by 2015, with 600,000 to 1.2 million jobs lost.

3)     That although economic depression and other factors may play a role in some sectoral changes, (such as retail), these job and economic losses are attributable to the failure of EU member states to adopt stronger IP enforcement measures. Continue reading »

Oct 232014

butler150px[Cross posted from brandonbutler.info, Link, (CC-BY)] When can teachers share copyrighted works (or excerpts therefrom) with students without payment or permission?

While other parts of the law come into play in narrow contexts, this is primarily a question about the scope of the doctrine of fair use. Educators have struggled with the dimensions of fair use for decades, and we are now at a pivotal point in that struggle. Friday’s decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Georgia State e-reserves case may be the last word on this issue for a long time. What does it say? Continue reading »

Oct 232014
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

The newly leaked May 16 draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter confirms previous reports that negotiators are discussing plans to postpone some of the TRIPS-Plus obligations on intellectual property and pharmaceuticals for some of the countries involved.

It includes as an addendum a “Proposal on Patent Pharmaceuticals Transition Periods” that would establish three “categories” of country, which are relatively high, middle, and low income. The relatively middle and low income countries would have transition periods that delayed their obligations related to patent extensions, linkage, and data exclusivity. After relatively short transition periods, all countries would have to apply the TRIPS-Plus rules that the World Health Organization warns may have “adverse impacts on access to medicines.” (p.72) Continue reading »

Oct 222014

oabutton_logo_final200Open Access Button press release, Link, CC-BY
Joseph McArthur, +447732634892 | media@openaccessbutton.org

London, England. The Open Access Button today launched a suite of new apps to help researchers, patients, students and the public get access to scientific and scholarly research. People use research everyday to create scientific and medical advances, understand culture, and fuel the economy, but articles can cost $30 or more to read each, even though much of the research is funded by the public in the first place. The new apps are available both for mobile phones and web browsers and can be downloaded at openaccessbutton.org.  Continue reading »

Oct 212014

krista-coxReposted from Association of Research Libraries’ Policy Notes blog, Link, CC-BY

On Friday, October 17, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit released its long-awaited decision in the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case.Some key takeaways from the majority opinion include:

  • Affirms that fair use is applied on a case-by-case basis;
  • Rejects bright-line rules, such as using a ten-percent-or-one-chapter rule to allow fair use (a rule that the district court adopted);
  • Affirms that even if a use is non-transformative, a nonprofit educational purpose can still favor fair use;
  • Rejects the coursepack copying cases as applicable;
  • Finds that a publisher’s failure to offer a license will tend to weigh in favor of fair use in terms of the fourth fair use factor; and
  • Gives weight to a publisher’s incentive to publish, rather than focusing on the author’s incentive to create.

Continue reading »

Oct 202014
bolivian dancers - Gatol Fotografía  CC-BY-SA

Gatol Fotografía (CC-BY-SA)

[Cross posted from Fundación Karisma, Link, (CC-BY)] In Bolivia, La Paz’s City Council is discussing the “Municipal Autonomy Bill No. 100,” which seeks to create mechanisms to ensure the protection of the public performance right of musical works via strengthening collecting society system.

The draft law has generated considerable public discontent in Bolivian society because it is quite broad in powers granted to the country’s main collecting society, SOBODAYCOM. The bill seems to have a very wide scope as it suggests that to develop any musical activity in the city of La Paz hereunder the SOBODAYCOM’s authorization will be required. The entity will grant it upon payment of the appropriate license. Continue reading »

Oct 202014

oa logaGeneration Open” Theme Highlights Students and Early Career Researchers

SPARC Press Release
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer
Phone:  202.538.1065
Email:  media@sparc.arl.org

Washington, DC – Hundreds of events will take place across the globe to highlight the power that Open Access has to increase the impact of scientific and scholarly research during the seventh annual Open Access Week taking place from October 20-26, 2014.

This year’s theme of “Generation Open” highlights the important role that students and early career researchers play as advocates for change, both in the short-term through institutional and governmental policy, and also as the future of the Academy upon whom the ultimate success of the Open Access movement depends. The theme will also explore how changes in scholarly publishing affect scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers. Continue reading »

Oct 202014

tac-logo[Treatment Action Campaign, Link, (CC-BY)] October 20th, 2014—PRETORIA: Patients, doctors and members of civil society meet today with government experts to plot a course for quickly reforming South Africa’s patent laws, so that people can access the life-saving medicines they need at affordable prices. The National Summit on Intellectual Property (IP) and Access to Medicines in Pretoria was organised by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) which is leading the “Fix the Patents Laws’ coalition of 13 other civil society organisations. Continue reading »