Today, Prime Ministers meeting in Bali in advance of this week’s APEC meeting expressed skepticism that negotiators will finalize a TPP deal by the end of the year. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told the press that “the end of the year is a very tight timeline. We will have discussions in Bali and we will have a sense whether that timetable is feasible but our sense is that it may take longer than the time horizon of the end of the year.” Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper agreed, saying “There will be a conversation about this among the heads of government who are present except for Mr. Obama and there has been progress, but as Prime Minister Najib said, the negotiators have much to still do.” (US Trade Representative Michael Froman was more upbeat. He told the press on Friday that “finish line is in sight.” President Obama cancelled his trip to the APEC summit due to the government shutdown and debt showdown in the U.S.)
The civil society group Article 19 (named after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee of freedom of opinion and expression) has published an analysis of Italy’s Draft Regulation on Copyright Protection on Electronic Communication Networks. Article 19 warns that “the Draft Regulation falls short of international standards on freedom of expression in key respects. We are especially concerned that the Draft Regulation provides for the blocking of entire websites, domain names or IP addresses. These measures are both ineffective and deeply inimical to free expression due to the high risks of over-blocking. We are also concerned that blocking powers would be entrusted to a regulator rather than the courts.”
On Thursday September 26, 2013, American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) hosted The Law and Economics of Copyright Users’ Rights. The event featured discussions by economists and attorneys on the role of empirical evidence in copyright debates, and a keynote address by Sunil Abraham from Centre for Internet and Society in India. A webcast of the event is here, and a separate blog about the economist panel is here.
PIJIP director Michael Carroll chaired the roundtable discussion, which comprised of seven lawyers from around the globe. These speakers are experts involved in copyright reform efforts in their respective countries. Prof. Carroll asked the speakers to address the ways in which empirical evidence is used in the legislative debate, and suggestions on how this practice could be improved.
Yesterday, American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property held an even the Law and Economics of Copyright Users’ Rights. The event was the launch of an interdisciplinary project to conduct empirical research on the effects of flexibility in copyright law, including both the effects on consumer welfare and on innovation in the technology and creative industries. The project involves both law professors and econmics professors from AU, and like much of our other work, will be done with partners from institutions around the world.
The webcast and speaker presentations from yesterday’s event are online here. A very brief description of the first panel is below, and a description of the second panel will be posted on the blog shortly.
On September 12, Eli Lilly formally submitted a Notice of Arbitration against Canada under the rules of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The filing is here.
Eli Lilly alleges that Canada violated its NAFTA intellectual property obligations when its courts found the patents for two of its drugs to be invalid. The drug patents in question – covering Lilly’s products Strattera and Zyprexa – had been successfully challenged by generic firms in 2009 and 2010, which argued that the patents failed to meet Canadian usefulness standards.
On September 26, AUWCL’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property will hold a public conference on The Law and Economics of Copyright Users Rights. It will serve as a launch of an interdisciplinary project to conduct empirical research on the effects of flexibility in copyright law, including both the effects on consumer welfare and on innovation in the technology and creative industries.
On August 28, a group of members of the Peruvian legislature – the Parlamentario Acción Popular-Frente Amplio – proposed a motion that asks for greater transparency in the Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations. Specifically, the motion seeks “a public, political, and technical debate on the proposals of the Trans-pacific Partnership” and requests “the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism and the technical team in charge of the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to report on the matter.”
Vietnam’s controversial new “Decree 72 on the Management, Provision and Use of Internet Services and Online Information” went into effect on September 1. The full text in Vietnamese is here.*
As reported in VOA by Marianne Brown,”Critics say the new rules are aimed at stifling speech online and could discourage businesses from operating in Vietnam. But the government says the measures are aimed at protecting intellectual property and fighting plagiarism.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. Trade Representative issued a request for public comments regarding the 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report). Comments may be submitted by “any interested person,” and they are due on October 22, 2013.
The NTE report is defined in the request for comments as an annual report that “sets out an inventory of the most important foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and protection of intellectual property rights. The inventory facilitates U.S. negotiations aimed at reducing or eliminating these barriers.”
The nineteenth round of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations will begin this weekend in Brunei Darussalam. In the last few weeks, legislators and other government officials in some of the TPP countries have raised concerns over the intellectual property provisions.
In Chile, Senators Navarro, Gomez and Tuma introduced a proyecto de acuerdo that formally requests an open, public debate on the agreement. As noted in a previous post, the Senators quote the recommendation of former Chilean TPP negotiator Rodrigo Contreras that Chile should “avoid limits on access to knowledge available on the Internet, and not exacerbate the intellectual property protection of downloaded online content. Nor should we accept the over-extension of the term of protection of copyright for books, movies or music that limit their availability in libraries and schools, and that would make them more expensive for lower income people.”
Chilean Senators Navarro, Gomez and Tuma introduced a proyecto de acuerdo to the Senate that asks the President to open a public debate on the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). It formally requests the President to provide “timely and accurate” information on the affects the agreement will have on Chile domestically, and on economic and international relations, including Chile’s trade relationship with China.
The request notes that both former Direcon Director Carlos Furche and economist Osvaldo Rosales have warned the TPP may not offer significant benefits to Chile, because it already has trade agreements with the other TPP members.
The Congressional Research Service has released a report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in which it discusses “selected key TTIP negotiating issues.” It predicts that regulatory talks will be among the most difficult topics for negotiators, stating that “there is debate about whether a comprehensive agreement on regulatory issues can be reached.” The report suggests that negotiations over “Rules” topics such as intellectual property and investment may be easier overall, but that within them “debates about certain rules may become more prominent.”