Mexico and Canada Formally Join TPP Negotiations

Today, Canada announced it has formally joined the TPP negotiations. Yesterday, Mexico issued a press release announcing it had formally joined the TPP negotiations and will hold an intercessional on Nov 12-15.  Last week, Barbara Weisel, head of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations for USTR, held a civil society briefing on the state of the negotiations where she discussed these nations’ impending entry.  Canada and Mexico will participate in all TPP activities between now and the next round in December, and will likely have bilateral meetings with the U.S. and others to “get up to speed” on specific issues.  USTR received numerous comments in response to its Federal Register notice requesting comments on the countries’ entrance into the negotiations. Click here for more.

La Quadrature du Net: MEPs must be ready to reject an ACTA-like Canada/EU Trade Agreement

[Jeremie Zimmerman]Ahead of the next round of negotiations of CETA, the Canada/EU Trade Agreement, La Quadrature du Net publishes its dedicated web-dossier. The citizen organization urges the Members of the European Parliament to demand full transparency and be ready to reject CETA as they did with ACTA, if any of the anti-Internet, anti-citizens’ freedoms provisions remain in the final agreement. Click here for more.

WIPO Assembly Moves To Fast-Track Copyright Exceptions For the Visually Impaired

[Maricel Estavillo and William New for IP Watch] The majority of member states of the 185-strong World Intellectual Property Organization have thrown their support behind the fast-tracked negotiation of a new treaty or other instrument that sets limitations and exceptions to copyright for the benefit of the visually-impaired and those with print disabilities.  Members at the fourth day of the 1-9 October WIPO General Assembly approved the 2013 schedule for a diplomatic conference (high-level treaty negotiation) on the instrument proposed by the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). A diplomatic conference is the highest level of negotiations at WIPO. Click here for more.

Advocates Ask De Gucht to Leave Data Exclusivity Out of Trade Agreement with Moldova

Health advocates have asked the EU not to include data exclusivity requirements in the “Deeply Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement” that is being negotiated between the EU and Moldova.  A recent letter from the European AIDS Treatment Group and AIDS Action Europe to Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht points out that data exclusivity “would block many people in Moldova from realising the right to achieving the highest attainable standard of health which is reflected in Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which every European Union Member State is a signatory.”; the World Health Organization recommends that “it is preferable not to grant data exclusivity”; and “The European Parliament resolution of 12 July on the TRIPS Agreement and access to medicines called on the European Council to refrain from negotiating ‘TRIPS-plus’ provisions including specifically data exclusivity provisions. Article 9 of the DCFTA with the Republic of Moldova contradicts this resolution.” Click here for more.

Civil Society Calls for Panama to Reject Copyright Legislation Called the ‘Worst Copyright Bill in History’

A group of 21 organizations and advocates organized by has written the president of Panama asking him to refuse to sign Bill 510 on Copyright and Related Rights.  The bill was recently rushed through the legislature with little debate, and the letter asks the President to return the bill to the legislature “to be discussed in depth.” The letter raises three objections to the bill: 1) it “grants excessive and disproportionate power to the DGDA [Director General of Copyright]”, 2) it “uses overly broad copyright definitions, and does not consider the use of intellectual works related to the internet and new technologies,” and 3) it “does not consider any limitation on liability for internet service providers, opening the door to abuse and putting undue pressure on the companies.” Click here for more.

Survey of American and German Attitudes on File Sharing

[Joe Karaganis] We’re kicking off our Copy Culture in the US and Germany pre-release festivities with a fresh(ish) look at an old question: is unauthorized file sharing wrong?  Or more properly: do Americans think it’s wrong? Let’s recall that there are two conventional ways of talking about the ethics of copying copyrighted stuff–both in relation to the theft of material property. First: that copying is not like theft because it is non-rivalrous–making a copy does not deprive the owner of the use of the good.  For short, call this the Paley position–the defense of digital culture, in particular, as a culture of abundance.  Second: that copying is like theft because it deprives the owner of the potential economic benefit from the sale of that good (in the case of downloading, to the copier).  Call that the MPAA position–the defense of culture as a market that depends on the scarcity or controlled distribution of digital goods. Click here for more.

Upcoming Event: “IP, Trade and Development”

On October 16, from 9-2 EST, PIJIP and Public Citizen will co-host a multidisciplinary event that will bring together academics, civil society, and policy makers to 1) examine how intellectual property affects economic growth in countries at different levels of development, and 2) analyze the way the United States ratifies trade agreements through Executive Agreements.  The event is free and open to the public, and a recorded webcast will be posted the day following the event.  Click here for more.