Swiss government responds to Berne Declaration criticism of ACTA

Switzerland’s Minister of Justice and Police has responded to a critique of the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement sent by the Berne Declaration and Alliance Sud last November.  The Swiss response discusses ACTA and medicines (noting that the agreement will not address the problem of substandard drugs), border measures, and transparency.  Click here for the letters and translated version.

New essay collection: Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property

Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski have compiled and edited a collection of 60 essays on the ideas behind and evolution of the access to knowledge movement.  Many leaders in the field have contributed to the book, the full text of which is available online under a creative commons license. Click here for more.

GlaxoSmithKline comments on the final ACTA text

In comments placed online last week by IP Watch, GSK generally supports the agreement, as it “fully supports any efforts aimed at ensuring strong enforcement of IPRs.”  The company would have preferred to have seen the inclusion of patents in the civil enforcement, but it has “no objection to the omission of criminal sanctions for patent infringers” and “no objection to the exclusion of in-transit patent provisions.” Click here for more.

Korea-US FTA moves closer to implementation, contains most strenuous IP and internet provisions of any US trade agreement to date

Inside U.S. Trade reports that USTR has circulated the revised section of the Korea-US FTA text to the relevant advisory committees. This sets the clock in motion for the Obama Administration to propose draft implementation legislation text by mid March. If passed, the Korea-US FTA will have the most strenuous IP requirements of any US Free Trade Agreement.  Industry has hailed it as a model for future trade agreements – including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently under negotiation (see the December 2010 letter from the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP).  Its enforcement and internet provisions exceed those in ACTA.  For a comparison of the IP and internet provisions found in ACTA and the Korea TPP, see PIJIP fellow Cameron Chong’s blog post and table.

BREIN announces the takedown of more torrents

Stichting Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland (BREIN) announced that it and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) convinced hosting companies to take down 51 torrent sites in January.  Last year, BREIN says they won the takedown of over 600 sites.  The International Business Times reports that BREIN conducts anti-piracy “stings” in 12 countries, making it a natural partner for MPAA.  Julie Cheng in Ars Technica reports that internet users “barely noticed.” Click here for more.

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