Infojustice Roundup

Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

Colombian Senators File Two Lawsuits Against Copyright Bill Passed to Comply with US-Colombia FTA

Sens. Jorge Enrique and Camilo Robeldo have filed two lawsuits against Law 201, a copyright law introduced and passed over a two week period last May.  Law 201 (known popularly as Ley Lleras 2) changes copyright law in Colombia in order to meet the requirements of the U.S.-Colombia FTA.  The lawsuits allege that the law unjustifiably restricts the rights of Internet users to access and disclose information, and that it violates Colombia’s Constitutional right to privacy. Click here for more.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Response to TPP Transparency Letter from Law Professors

On May 9, 2012  over 30 legal scholars sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk calling on the Administration to expand participation and transparency in the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership.  The letter specifically called for the administration to work to give the general public the same rights to see US proposals in the negotiation as cleared corporate advisers now have. USTR sent an initial response the day it was received, and now has followed it with a formal letter dated May 30 from Ambassador Ron Kirk. Click here for the response.

RIAA Suggestions for ACTA that Are Re-Appearing in the TPP

A new post by Jimmy Koo shows specific RIAA Suggestions for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that were edited out of ACTA during the negotiating process, but have reappeared in the leaked U.S. proposal for the IP Chapter of the TPP.  Provisions include criminal sanctions for copyright infringement on a commercial scale that are not undertaken with a financial incentive, and the seizure of assets “traceable to” infringing activity.  Click here for more.

TPP IP Chapter Becoming a “Problem” in Australia

[by Sean Flynn] There are increasing reports that the IP chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is being perceived as a problem by some officials in Australia. At a government briefing of media stakeholders yesterday, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra noted to one participant: ‘You’re lucky you’re in the Services chapter…  the IP chapter is a real problem.’ Click here for more.

European “Informal Deal” on Orphan Works

The European Parliament has announced an “informal deal” that it says will allow greater access to orphan works.  According to the announcement “According to the agreed text, a work would be deemed to be orphan if, after a ‘diligent’ search made in good faith, it was not possible to identify or locate the copyright holder. The draft legislation lays down criteria for carrying out the search. Works granted orphan status would be then made public, through digitisation and only for non-profit purposes.”  MEPs did agree that rightholders who claim works after their placement into the public domain should receive compensation, but the deal includes “a provision to protect public institutions from the risk of having to pay large sums to authors who show up later.” Click here for more.

China Revises Law to Facilitate Compulsory Licenses for Generic Medicines

China has revised its legal framework to promote compulsory licenses for patented medicines to meet public health needs.  The government is considering issuing a compulsory license for tenofovir, a medicine recommended for first line treatment of HIV/AIDS, which is sold under the brand name Viread by Gilead.   As reported by Reuters, the Chinese chemical firms export many of the active pharmaceutical ingredients used by branded pharmaceutical firms, which then “sell the patented finished products back to China at prices which the average Chinese citizen often cannot afford.” Click here for more.