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 mpalmedo@wcl.american.edu, and I will them to the table

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

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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 »

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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 »

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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 insidetrade.com.

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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 »

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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 ustr.gov.  (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. 

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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 »

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Promoting Copyright Balance in NAFTA

 Posted by on June 13, 2017  Comments Off on Promoting Copyright Balance in NAFTA
Jun 132017
 

Sean Michael Flynn and Michael Palmedo
Comments to U.S. Trade Representative, re: NAFTA Negotiation

The AU Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property has been working over several years on empirical research pertaining to the impact of balanced copyright systems on trade and economic development. One key element of an adequately balanced copyright system is having sufficiently “open” limitations and exceptions for the digital environment. We refer to “open” limitations and exceptions for the digital environment as those that are open to the use of any kind of work, by any kind of user and for any purpose, as long as the use does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. Such openness is the hallmark of the U.S. fair use clause. These “open” aspects are crucial because the digital environment creates new opportunities to use different kinds of works, by different users and for different purposes than were envisioned in most copyright statutes. An open statute is a flexible one – and flexibility is needed to accommodate and encourage innovation in the digital environment.     Continue reading »

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New Timeline for Review of South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill

 Posted by on June 5, 2017  Comments Off on New Timeline for Review of South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill
Jun 052017
 

The South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, which is currently considering the Copyright Amendment Bill [B13-2017], has extended the deadline for the public to submit comments, and has postponed the public hearings which will now be held in August.

The formal notice seeking comments on the legislation – with the new dates – is available here (PDF). Continue reading »

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South Africa Releases 2017 Copyright Amendments Bill for Comment; Legal Scholars Weigh In on the Bill’s General Exception

 Posted by on May 30, 2017  Comments Off on South Africa Releases 2017 Copyright Amendments Bill for Comment; Legal Scholars Weigh In on the Bill’s General Exception
May 302017
 

South Africa has released the 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill for public comment.  The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry will accept written comments from the public through June 19, and will hold public hearings on the legislation June 27-29.

Instruction for submissions and further information on the hearing are here.

Six legal scholars from the Global Expert network on Copyright User Rights have sent an open letter to Parliamentarians to applaud the government for the Bill’s strengthening of user rights, and to make two suggestions.  Continue reading »

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Trump Administration Gives Formal Notice of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

 Posted by on May 18, 2017  Comments Off on Trump Administration Gives Formal Notice of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA
May 182017
 

USTR Lighthizer

Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), via a letter to Congressional leadership. The letter is less detailed than last March’s draft notification, and unlike the March draft, it includes no specific negotiating objectives.  Rather, the letter that was sent today notes “our aim is that NAFTA be modernized to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs, procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.” The letter also says that the Administration will develop negotiating positions that are consistent with the objectives found in Section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.   Continue reading »

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I-MAK Challenges Validity of Remaining Hepatitis C Drug Patent in China

 Posted by on April 24, 2017  Comments Off on I-MAK Challenges Validity of Remaining Hepatitis C Drug Patent in China
Apr 242017
 

[Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge press release, Link (CC-BY)] In a move that could strike down barriers to treatment for the exploding hepatitis C epidemic that kills 700,000 people every year, attorneys and scientists from the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) filed a legal challenge against Gilead’s (NASDAQ:GILD) remaining patent for the hepatitis C medicine sofosbuvir in China. Branded as Sovaldi®, this patent covers the sofosbuvir base compound and is founded on previously published techniques, and does not meet the legal criteria for a patent. This new filing follows another legal challenge filed by I-MAK in 2015, which helped result in a rejection in June 2015 by China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) on the other critical patent application on sofosbuvir. SIPO found that this patent, covering the prodrug that activates the otherwise inactive base compound in the body, did not deserve a patent under the law. Continue reading »

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