Sep 212017

[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] Today Creative Commons published a policy analysis covering several copyright-related issues presented in the draft intellectual property chapter of EU-Mercosur free trade agreement. We examine issues that would be detrimental to the public domain, creativity and sharing, and user rights in the digital age.

The policy paper is also available in Spanish and Portuguese Continue reading »

Aug 222017

On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative announced its Section 301 investigation of China’s “acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.” As part of the investigation, it is accepting comments from the public, which are due by September 28. The initiation of the investigation follows President Trump’s August 14 memo on intellectual property, which noted that “China’s conduct “may inhibit United States exports, deprive United States citizens of fair remuneration for their innovations, divert American jobs to workers in China, contribute to our trade deficit with China, and otherwise undermine American manufacturing, services, and innovation.” Continue reading »


NAFTA Renegotiation to Begin on Wednesday

 Posted by on August 14, 2017  Comments Off on NAFTA Renegotiation to Begin on Wednesday
Aug 142017

Image: Alex Covarrubias (CC-BY)

The U.S, Mexico and Canada will begin renegotiating NAFTA this Wednesday at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington DC.

Inside US Trade reports that “initial talks will focus mostly on logistics and agenda-setting… Negotiators are expected to establish working groups for specific issue areas, identify their NAFTA-country counterparts and pinpoint the contentious issues that will take longer to negotiate. Negotiators will also exchange their priorities for the renegotiations, which could include agreeing on what issues will not be renegotiated. This will allow the negotiators to construct a chronology for the talks as they move forward.” Continue reading »


Information, Access, And Development: Setting A Course For The Sustainable Development Goals

 Posted by on August 11, 2017  Comments Off on Information, Access, And Development: Setting A Course For The Sustainable Development Goals
Aug 112017

Gerald Leitner, Secretary General of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Reposted from IP-Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Information is the raw material for decision-making. When individuals and groups make the right choices, based on good information, their chances of taking a full role in economic, social, cultural and civic life improve. They can better create and innovate, participate in politics, find and do their jobs well, and live healthily.

Informed citizens and communities are also essential to the UN’s 2030 Agenda. We cannot have sustainable development when individuals are not able to deal with new choices and challenges autonomously, drawing on access to information. And we cannot have inclusive development, with no-one left behind, unless this access is real and meaningful for everyone. Continue reading »


South African Hearings on Copyright Amendment Bill

 Posted by on July 31, 2017  Comments Off on South African Hearings on Copyright Amendment Bill
Jul 312017

This week the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry will hold three days of hearings on the Copyright Amendment Bill (B13-2017). Witnesses will give 20 minute presentations, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A.

The hearings will be on August 1, 2 and 4, and the testimony will be open to the public.

The hearing schedule is available here.
PIJIP’s collection of written statements to the Committee on the Copyright Amendment Bill is here.

Jul 192017

PIJIP has created a table of comments submitted to the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry regarding the Copyright Amendment Bill. It was last updated on July 19, 2017.

Please send additional comments to, and I will them to the table

Table of Comments to South African Parliament re: Copyright Amendment Act (B-13-2017)


Five Easy Ways for CULT MEPs to Help Fixing EU Copyright

 Posted by on July 10, 2017  Comments Off on Five Easy Ways for CULT MEPs to Help Fixing EU Copyright
Jul 102017

[Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] Tomorrow the Members of the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament (CULT) will vote on their position on the proposal on Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive. This will be the second vote in the European parliament after last month’s vote in the IMCO committee. While the CULT committee is nominally responsible for Culture and Education it seems rather likely that tomorrow’s vote will result in an one sided opinion that would  support the key elements of the flawed directive, making them worse in many areas. Below is a quick rundown of what is on the table during tomorrow’s vote. We have listed  voting recommendations for CULT MEPs interested in enacting real copyright reform that will foster Europe’s cultural and educational sectors: Continue reading »


Comments on the Economic Benefits of Open Copyright Limitations, Submitted to South Africa’s Portfolio Comm. on Trade and Industry

 Posted by on July 7, 2017  Comments Off on Comments on the Economic Benefits of Open Copyright Limitations, Submitted to South Africa’s Portfolio Comm. on Trade and Industry
Jul 072017

Click here for the full comment (PDF)

Excerpt:  This comment presents results of ongoing research on copyright limitations being conducted by American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). The research demonstrates that positive economic outcomes are associated with greater openness in copyright limitations, and it supports arguments that South Africa will benefit from amendments to its copyright law that make limitations more “open.”

PIJIP defines copyright limitations as more “open” if they are open to the use of any kind of work, by any kind of user and/or for any purpose, as long as the use does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. Continue reading »


Sen. Wyden: “NAFTA 2.0 Must Take a Balanced Approach to Copyright”

 Posted by on July 6, 2017  Comments Off on Sen. Wyden: “NAFTA 2.0 Must Take a Balanced Approach to Copyright”
Jul 062017

Inside U.S. Trade reports on a Capitol Hill event on digital trade and the NAFTA renegotation at which Sen. Wyden made the following remark regarding copyright: “NAFTA 2.0 must take a balanced approach to copyright that ensures the free flow of ideas around the world and allows American companies to continue to compete and win across the globe. Our agreements should enshrine a copyright system that looks to the future, not one that prevents computer researchers from doing their jobs or locks in restrictive copyright rules.”

Click here for the full story on

Jun 282017

NAFTA Modernization Hearing, International Trade Commission
USTR-2017-0006 | June 27, 2017
See also: Written Comment on NAFTA Modernization, submitted jointly with Sean Flynn

My name is Michael  Palmedo, and I work for the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at the American University Washington College of Law.  We have an interdisciplinary project that studies the economic effects of legal provisions in copyright laws, specifically copyright limitations that are relied upon by various firms in the information and research sectors.  I manage the economic side of this research, which is partially funded by Google. In this testimony, I will share information from our research indicating that the promotion of balanced copyright systems promotes U.S. trade interests, and should therefore be included in the NAFTA renegotiation objectives. Continue reading »

Jun 262017

This week the U.S. government’s Trade Policy Staff Committee, an inter-agency group headed by the U.S. Trade Representative, will be holding a three-day open hearing on NAFTA.  The purpose of the hearing, as stated in the Federal Register Notice, is to “assist USTR as it develops its negotiating objectives and positions for the agreement.”  The hearing runs from Tuesday, June 27 through Thursday, June 29. It will held at the International Trade Commission building, and will be webcast on  (Tuesday will definitely be webcast, and USTR is ‘awaiting livestream confirmation’ at the time I am writing this.)

143 people will testify. The panels with witnesses that seem the most dedicated to intellectual property run from 4:45 to 8:00 on Tuesday evening. The full schedule is here. 

Jun 212017

(CC-BY-NC-ND) – Rakka

Today’s New York Times features a story on a leaked draft outline the Trump Administration’s upcoming Executive Order on drug pricing. According to the Times, “the document directs the United States trade representative to conduct a study of price differences between the United States and other countries, and to review trade agreements that may need to be revised ‘to promote greater intellectual property protection and competition in the global market’.”

It as many others have already pointed out (KEI, Public Citizen, UEAM), this will do nothing to reduce drug prices in the United States. Continue reading »