Infojustice Roundup

Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

Open Letter to Colombian Legislature on Pending Copyright Bill

An open letter signed by over 60 scholars and advocates has been sent to the leadership of the Colombian legislature regarding its bill to implement the country’s copyright obligations under the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Bill no. 201 of 2012, is currently being fasttracked through both houses of the legislature.  Says the letter: “we find that many of the changes that upgrade protection for copyright go beyond what the FTA requires and are, in fact, more restrictive than U.S. law itself. Moreover, we note that Colombia’s legislators do not appear to be using this opportunity to recalibrate the balance between rights holders and other citizens by introducing flexible limitations and exceptions into national law, along with stronger safeguards for ownership.” Click here for more.

TPP Negotiations Resume in Santiago, Chile

The countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership will hold an intersessional negotiation of the intellectual property chapter this week in Santiago, Chile.  The Centro de Regulación y Competencia (RegCom), Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad  de Chile, and PIJIP will host a public seminar on IP on April 12. Click here for more.

Creative Commons Version 4.0 – License Draft Ready for Public Comment

[Repost from Diane Peters, Creative Commons] “We are pleased to post for public comment the first discussion draft of version 4.0. This draft is the product of an extended (and unprecedented) requirements gathering period involving input from CC affiliates, community and stakeholders. Thanks to all of you who contributed your valuable time and energy in the policy discussions and drafting sessions in support of this draft.”  Click here for more.

Sao Paulo State Bill on Open Education Resources Receives Second Endorsement

Carolina Rossini reports that the “OER Bill of Sao Paulo state (Brazil) has received its second ‘yes’, now from the Commission of Education and Culture. It has already passed through the Commission of Justice… It is now going to Commission of Finance and Tax of the House of Sao Paulo… The bill declares that public funded educational materials and those materials developed by the state government and its agencies should be OER and foster the development of open and interoperable repositories for OER in Brazil.”  The law can be accessed here.

Open Textbook Company Sued by Publishers

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that three textbook publishers have sued the startup company Boundless Learning, a company that produces open access textbooks.  The complaint by Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Macmillan Higher Education states that ““Notwithstanding whatever use it claims to make of ‘open source educational content,’ Defendant distributes ‘replacement textbooks’ that are created from, based upon, and overwhelmingly similar to Plaintiffs’ textbooks.” Click here for the full story, and the text of the complaint.

USTR Releases 2012 NTE Report

USTR released the 2012 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, which describes trade barriers in the EU, the Arab League, and 58 countries. The report includes “an inventory of the most important foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment by U.S. persons, and protection of intellectual property rights.”  It contains short chapters – usually under 10 pages, with less than one page on IP – on perceived trade barriers in each of the TPP negotiating countries.  (It has similar chapters on countries that are implementing trade agreements, and on most of the countries with which it has engaged in IP trade disputes). Click here for more.