Infojustice Roundup

Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning Publish Guidelines for Open Educational Resources

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Commonwealth of Learning have published guidelines on Open Educational Resources.  Its purpose is to “encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the systematic production, adaptation and use of OER and to bring them into the mainstream of higher education in order to improve the quality of curricula and teaching and to reduce costs.”  The report contains guidelines for governments, higher education institutions, academic staff, students, and accreditation bodies. Click here for more.

IIPA Publishes Report on the Economic Contribution of “Copyright Industries”

“Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2011 Report,” written by Stephen Siwek and published by the International Intellectual Property Association, was released on November 2 at an event sponsored by the Congressional Anti-Piracy Caucus.  The report finds that U.S. industries “reliant on copyright protection” in 2010 produced 6.4% of the nation’s GDP, employed nearly 5% of the private sector workforce, paid wages 27% higher than those in other industries, and exported or sold abroad goods valued at $134 billion.  This is the 13th IIPA study on the contribution of copyright industries in the U.S., and the fourth that uses a WIPO methodology for measuring the contribution.  Click here for more.

New Zealand Opposes U.S. Proposal for Pharmaceutical Provisions in the TPP

New Zealand is opposing the pharmaceutical provisions tabled by the United States, which would require governments to “appropriately recognize the value of the patented or generic pharmaceutical products or medical devices” when setting reimbursement rates.  According to Inside U.S. Trade, New Zealand has said the provisions are unacceptable unless the United States agrees to apply them on a reciprocal basis – but the language tabled by the United States attempts to carve out its state and local programs (notably Medicaid and the “340B” program, which serve low income Americans). Click here for more.


Bridges:  ACTA Faces Criticism at WTO and in the United States


A recent story in Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest notes that ACTA is facing growing criticism in a variety of forums.  It was criticized by India and China at the most recent meeting of the WTO Council for Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights – the Indian delegate warned that it risks “completely upset[ting] the balance of rights and obligations of the TRIPS Agreement.”  It has faced warnings from U.S. patent officials that it could clash with the recently passed healthcare reform bill: “At issue are provisions in the US healthcare reform and in other US patent laws that limit damages and injunctions for patent infringement in certain cases, such as in the context of developing generic drugs or performing surgery.”  In Europe, Parliamentarians are asking about its consistency with EU law.  Click here for the story on

European Parliament Releases International Trade Committee Minutes on ACTA

In response to repeated inquiries from the Foundation for a Free Internet Infrastructure (FFII) and MEP Carl Schlyter, the European Parliament has released the minutes of International Trade Committee meetings on ACTA, in which the committee asked the EU legal service for a decision on the legality of the agreement.  Previously, the European Parliament had denied that the minutes existed.  According to the FFII blog, “The minutes document illegal decisions. On 21 June 2011, the coordinators of the INTA committee decided to ask the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on ACTA. (pdf) This decision was illegal for two reasons. First, the ACTA text had already been published, the discussion should have taken place in public. Second, coordinators can prepare decisions, not take them.” Click here for the blog on

Events and Deadlines