Philippine Senate Passes Legislation That Changes Fair Use Provisions in Copyright Law

[Mike Palmedo] Legislation to change the copyright law of the Philippines has passed the third reading in the Senate.  The law was sponsored by Senator Manny Villar, who is quoted in the press saying that “It is high time that we genuinely adhere to the international principle of fair use to limit the use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the owner.”  Villar also noted that the U.S.-based International Intellectual Property Alliance had asked for the Philippines to be placed on the Special 301 Priority Watch List. The bill amends the existing law’s language on fair use to specify that it applies to a “limited number of” copies. Click here for more.

New Version of Marco Civil Threatens Freedom of Expression in Brazil

[Carolina Rossini]  Brazil is now in the midst of rolling out an Internet bill of rights, called Marco Civil da Internet, which was intended to afford strong protections for freedom of online expression and Internet intermediaries. Unfortunately… a concerning last-minute change has chipped away at the Bill’s safe harbor provisions regarding copyright infringement. Article 15 of Marco Civil originally provided that ISPs are not responsible for infringing content by Third Parties unless they disobey a specific judicial order to take down said content. However, following a visit by the Minister of Culture to the legislator serving as rapporteur of Marco Civil, the rapporteur introduced a new paragraph into Article 15, saying that the article would not apply in cases of “copyright and neighborhood rights”. Click here for more.

LDCs collectively request an indefinite extension of their TRIPS-compliance transition periods

[Brook Baker] Led by Haiti, least developed country Members of the WTO have on November 5 filed a so-called “properly motivated” request under Art. 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement for a collective extension of the transition period within which they must become TRIPS compliant. The request specifically averts that LDCs have not developed technologically and that they need continuing and future freedom from IP rules and the high prices associated with IP rights if they are to develop economically and technologically. LDCs had previously been granted two pharmaceutical-related extensions of their original 11-year TRIPS transition period (1995-2006) following the adoption of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. Those limited extensions are not set to expire until Jan. 1, 2016. Click here for more.

Canadian Supreme Court Strikes Down Pfizer’s Viagra Patent

[Mike Palmedo] The Supreme Court of Canada has invalidated Pfizer’s patent for Viagra, on the grounds that the company’s patent filing did not meet the Patent Act’s disclosure requirements. The judgment stated: “The patent system is based on a ‘bargain’: the inventor is granted exclusive rights in a new and useful invention for a limited period in exchange for disclosure of the invention so that society can benefit from this knowledge. Sufficiency of disclosure lies at the very heart of the patent system, so adequate disclosure in the specification is a precondition for the granting of a patent.”  Click here for more.

World OER Map: Will You Help Build It?

[Susan D’Antoni] The following invitation is extended to any of you who might be interested in a discussion of how the OER community at large might design, create and sustain an OER world map of institutional initiatives… Over the past decade, there have been more and more initiatives in more and more countries. It has become difficult to have a sense of the global OER landscape. As we seek to communicate with stakeholders, as we seek to connect with potential partners and as we seek to learn from the experience of others, we might find useful a picture of the OER world – a global map of institutional and perhaps national initiatives as a starting point. Over time, an “OER World Map” could be enhanced as the community wished and found feasible. Click here for the full appeal.

Peruvians Balance the Public Debate on Internet User Rights

[Miguel Morachimo] A group of young professionals has decided to join forces to create Hiperderecho, a group dedicated to studying and facilitating public understanding of public policy on the internet in Peru. As a first project, Hiperderecho has created an educational and positive platform called “A Better Cybercrime Act.” The platform intends to explain the Bill, collecting all information available online. Next, the platform proposes five specific changes that would help achieve a better balance of interests in the text of the Bill. The full text of the proposal can be read on the Hiperderecho website. Of course, it is a social platform open to feedback and continuous improvement. Click here for more.