Dec 142014
 

ifla-logo[International Federation of Library Associations, Link, (CC-BY)]  IFLA’s response to the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”

Access to information…Intellectual Property reform…access to open data…affordable access to ICTs. These are some of the important issues IFLA and those of us in the greater library and information community are grappling with in a variety of ways.

IFLA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation. Continue reading »

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Dec 082014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

President Obama gave a talk on the stat of the economy last week at the Business Roundtable,  group of American CEOs that promotes pro-business public policies.  The full transcript of his talk, including questions and answers is here.

As part of a longer answer to a general question on the global economy, Obama mentioned bilateral talks with China.  He said that his administration is “pushing hard” on China to strengthen intellectual property, and asked the member companies of the Business Roundtable to “help us by speaking out when you’re getting strong-armed.” Continue reading »

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Nov 172014
 

indonesia-flagAhmad M. Ramli, the Law and Human Rights head of Indonesia’s Intellectual Property Rights Directorate General, recently told the Jakarta Post that the government will introduce tough new IPR enforcement measures next year.  According to the story, he “said that the government would increase its efforts to combat copyright piracy across the archipelago. They planned to increase the detention period for violating intellectual property rights from the current four years to 10 years. Perpetrators would also be fined Rp 4 billion (US$ 327,895). ‘We will also detain merchants of fake products for four years,’ he said, adding that they would apply sanctions against every mall permitting outlets to sell fake products.” Continue reading »

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Nov 102014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

The 12 heads of state of the nations negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) met in Beijing today, where they issued a statement indicating they have”instructed our Ministers and negotiators to make concluding this agreement a top priority.”  However, their statement did not discuss a deadline or timeframe.

They also released a “Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders,” which aimed to show that the pace of negotiations has “accelerated” and negotiators have made progress in many areas. On the topic of intellectual property negotiations, however, the report hints that negotiators are having trouble (they are “working hard” through a “challenging” area). Here is the full bullet on this part of the negotiations: Continue reading »

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Oct 232014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

The newly leaked May 16 draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter confirms previous reports that negotiators are discussing plans to postpone some of the TRIPS-Plus obligations on intellectual property and pharmaceuticals for some of the countries involved.

It includes as an addendum a “Proposal on Patent Pharmaceuticals Transition Periods” that would establish three “categories” of country, which are relatively high, middle, and low income. The relatively middle and low income countries would have transition periods that delayed their obligations related to patent extensions, linkage, and data exclusivity. After relatively short transition periods, all countries would have to apply the TRIPS-Plus rules that the World Health Organization warns may have “adverse impacts on access to medicines.” (p.72) Continue reading »

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Oct 162014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

Today, Wikileaks has released a draft text of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter, dated May 14, 2014.  This is the most up-to-date source for the text, which is kept secret by negotiators, despite numerous calls for its release.  (The previous leak, upon which much of the recent TPP analysis was based, was from August 2013.)

The full text is available hereAlso see comments on it from Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Derechos Digitales, Association of Research Libraries,  Médecins Sans Frontières, Michael Geist, Margot Kaminski and a Wall Street Journal Story by Ed Silverman.  More to come soon!

 

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Oct 132014
 

es-lgflagEl Salvador has become the second country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.  Minister of  Economy Tharsis Solomon López submitted the notification on October 1.

So far, the only other country to ratify the treaty has been India, which ratified it on June 30. Continue reading »

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Sep 092014
 

africaLast week, 23 civil society groups released the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms at the Internet Governance Forum. The Declaration was drafted by a committee led by Edetean Ojo , Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, which announced the Declaration as “a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and principles of openness in internet policy formulation and implementation on the continent. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the internet, and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.” Continue reading »

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Sep 052014
 

iccAs Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators began this week’s round of talks in Hanoi, the International Chamber of Commerce issued a white paper urging the inclusion of strong trade secret provisions in the agreement.

“Trade Secrets: Tools for Innovation and Collaboration” argues that trade secret theft has been growing since the 1990s, both within countries and across borders. Stronger protection is needed in order for businesses to operate within today’s systems of collaborative innovation and cross-border development.  Continue reading »

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Aug 182014
 

tw flagInside U.S. Trade reports that Taiwan is taking steps to develop a system of patent linkage, which would prevent generic firms from gaining marketing approval for their products while originator products are still under patent.  The country wants to join the Trans Pacific Partnership at a later date, and it expects that patent linkage will be one of the requirements for countries wishing to acceded to the Agreement.  Continue reading »

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Aug 062014
 

world hep allEleven European and worldwide NGOs have issued a “Call to EU Ministers of Health and CEOs of Abbvie, BMS, Gilead, Janssen and Merck/MSD regarding Universal Access to Curative Hepatitis C Treatment in the EU and Beyond.

The letter asks governments to “allocate human, technical and financial resources to prevent, diagnose and treat hepatitis C, establishing strategies and actions plans to eliminate the pandemic; [and] to meaningfully involve health professionals, experts, community, patients and people injecting drugs – the most affected group by HCV.” It asks pharmaceutical companies to “engage urgently in meaningful negotiations to ensure universal access to state of the art treatment to everyone living with hepatitis C. This should be done in a way that is sustainable and affordable to different health systems in Europe according to their individual capacity and in consideration of the overall financial constraints that they face.” The letter concludes: “If all bona fides negotiations fail, we believe that, as a last option, countries have the right to use compulsory licences.” Continue reading »

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Jul 292014
 

tac-logo[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Action Campaign, Link, (CC-BY-SA)]  On World Hepatitis Day, 26 organisations and individuals from around the world have called on the South African Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the public health threat of hepatitis, by implementing hepatitis B immunisation at birth, and reforming national patent laws to promote access to more affordable hepatitis therapies.  Continue reading »

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