Readers of this blog may be interested in checking out the text of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed on July 8. The intellectual property chapter contains many of the copyright, trademark, and enforcement provisions under debate in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. It also contains provisions on plant varieties and geographical indications. (Patents are included, but are not covered as extensively as other forms of IPR).
The Intellectual Property section of the American Bar Association has called on Congress to craft new legislation to fight infringement by “Predatory Foreign Websites” (PFW). In a white paper titled A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation, the group makes a number of recommendations, including the creation of a private right of action allowing rightholders to seek civil remedies. Specific civil remedies should include: “(1) injunctions directing financial payment processors to freeze the assets of PFWs and to cease doing business with such websites; (2) injunctions preventing online advertisers from paying PFWs or from displaying further ads on those websites; (3) injunctions requiring search engines to remove PFWs from paid, sponsored links; (4) injunctions requiring website hosts to cease hosting PFWs;
Last week, the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) hosted a panel on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and access to medicines at the Capitol building. Videos of presentations have been posted to YouTube by Knowledge Ecology International. This blog is a quick writeup of the panel (see also, my notes on the TACD panel on TTIP, access to knowledge and digital rights.)
Yesterday the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) held an event on Capitol Hill about the trade agreement currently under negotiation by the US and the EU – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Videos of presentations have been posted to YouTube by Knowledge Ecology International. This blog is a quick writeup of the first panel, which discussed the agreement’s potential impact on access to knowledge and digital rights.
The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue is holding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Stakeholder Forum today, featuring a morning panel on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Health Action International’s Joel Lexchin asked European Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero if the proposed ISDS rules would allow court rulings over intellectual property to be grounds for a dispute by a drug company against a government. He noted that this issue has held up the completion of the EU’s trade agreement with Canada.
Eleonora Rosati has posted a leaked draft of the European Union White Paper “A Copyright Policy for Creativity and Innovation in the European Union.” It contains a brief discussion and a proposed “way forward” on a number of copyright issues – cross-border dissemination in the digital single market; browsing and hyperlinking; knowledge and heritage institutions; education and research; access to knowledge for persons with disabilities; user generated content; private copying; the infrastructure necessary for licensing; fair remuneration of authors and performers; mass digitization; and enforcement.
The Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative was launched today at an event on Capitol Hill. The initiative plans to foster the development, manufacture, and distribution of pediatric formulations of antiretroviral therapies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. It will draw on the Medicines Patent Pool’s existing relationships to obtain the necessary intellectual property rights and production know-how from branded firms, and transfer the technology to generic firms. It then plans to coordinate large-scale purchases to ensure the medicines get to children in need. The Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative is a joint project of the Medicines Patent Pool, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, and UNITAID.
Xinhua reports that the Chinese government has released a draft amendment to its copyright law for public comment. The amendment would raise penalties from 100,000 yuan (16,025 USD) to 250,000 yuan (40,063 USD), and would give law enforcement greater powers to seize illicit goods. It is seeking comments on the legislation until July 5.
Source: Xinhua English. “China mulls increased copyright infringement penalties.“
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has signed legislation to allow free access to scientific and academic works made possible by public funding. According to the President’s statement, the legislation will “create the National Repository of Open Access to Scientific Information Resources, Technology and Innovation, Quality and Social and Cultural Interest, which will be available for the whole society.” [this is a Google translation]
Last December, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression published the report Freedom of Expression on the Internet.
The report, authored by Rapporteur Catalina Botero Marino, warned that copyright protection “cannot be pursued in a way that chills creativity or the free exchange of information on the Internet.” It specifically warns against intermediary liability, non-judicial processes of notice and termination, disconnection of users from the internet, and unreasonable penalties in cases of civil liability.
Derechos Digitales and AccessNow have launched RedLatAm, a new website that describes the changing landscape of digital rights in Latin America. It includes country-by-country information on laws and legislation concerning intellectual property, personal data protection, network neutrality, and computer crime.
The report (in Spanish) is available at https://redlatam.org/es
Negotiators from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership are meeting in Singapore this week. Much of the press coverage has focused on differences between the U.S. and Japan over agricultural subsidies that have been difficult to overcome. However, there have been new developments on intellectual property as it relates to access to medicines.
Negotiators had previously been discussing a differential treatment plan, under which the TPP countries still “developing” would have been exempt from certain obligations on patent and data protection. This plan is reportedly still on the table.