European Commission Publishes Synthesis of Comments Received on IPR Enforcement Directive

The EC has published a 22 page synthesis of the 380 comments it received it received on the “Report on the Application of Directive 2004/48/EC on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.”  Roughly half of the comments came from consumers or individuals, and roughly a quarter of the comments came from rightholders.  Regarding IP in the digital environment, rightholders tended to criticize the current regime “especially in terms of how it frames the role of intermediaries as well as its perceived failure to stem the increase in online copyright infringements,” while ISPs and individual citizens argued against changing the current directive, citing factors such as a lack of data to support a change, and the need to safeguard freedom of speech. Click here for more.

Content Owners and ISPs Announce System of “Copyright Alerts” and “Mitigation Measures”

Associations representing content owners have announced an agreement with ISPs  to establish a “common framework of ‘best practices’ to effectively alert subscribers, protect copyrighted content and promote access to legal online content.” Upon notification that an internet subscriber’s account is being used to illegally download copyrighted material, ISPs will send the subscriber a series of up to six “copyright alerts” that will notify him or her “that his/her account may have been misused for content theft, that content theft is illegal and a violation of published polices, and that consequences could result from any such conduct.”  After the fifth alerts, ISPs may use “mitigation measures” such as “temporary reductions of internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary.”  Click here for more.

Law Professors Send Letter Opposing the PROTECT-IP Act to Lawmakers

A group of intellectual property professors (around 90 as of this writing) led by Mark Lemley, David S. Levine, and David G. Post have delivered a letter to Congress urging rejection of the PROTECT-IP Act of 2011 (S. 968). The professors stress that the bill’s drawbacks outweigh its benefits in terms of the way it addresses online copyright and trademark infringement.  They argue that the bill is not constitutionally sound, has the potential to damage the stability and security of the Internet’s addressing system, and flies in the face of the United States’s history of supporting free expression on the Internet.  Intellectual property owners currently have an array of tools to fight online infringement; this bill is unnecessary and a true threat to freedom of the Internet. Click here for more.

Head of UNAIDS Warns Against Overly Strong IP Provisions in the India-EU Free Trade Agreement

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe has warned against the inclusion of TRIPS-Plus provisions in the EU-India Free Trade Agreement that would jeopardize the continued manufacture and export of generic medicines. India currently produces the majority of antiretrovirals used in the developing world.  “India should resist removing any flexibility because any trade agreement which could lead to India not being able to produce will be terrible for the rest of the world. Millions of people will die if India cannot produce and Africa will be the most affected.”  In response, India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma promised that India would not agree to periods of data exclusivity in the agreement. Click here for more.