[William New, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-SA)] Trade ministers negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement have released the list of provisions they have suspended, including a range of articles related to intellectual property rights, such as patentable subject matter, test data protection, biologics, copyright terms of protection, and technological protection measures.
[Médecins Sans Frontières press release, Link] Ministers from the eleven countries* assessing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal have suspended many of the damaging provisions that would have restricted access to medicines and vaccines, a victory for millions of people who rely on affordable medicines worldwide.
In the agreement, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which still has to be finalized, several of the TPP’s damaging intellectual property measures have been suspended. As originally written, the TPP—the worst trade deal ever for access to affordable medicines—would have extended pharmaceutical company monopolies, kept drug prices high, and prevented people and medical treatment providers from accessing lifesaving medicines by blocking or delaying the availability of price-lowering generic drugs in many countries.
[Judith Blijden, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] The last weekend of October in London, Mozilla organised Mozfest, its annual festival for the open internet movement. Mozilla wants to enable communities to contribute to making the internet a healthy place. The festival serves as a platform where civil society organisations, artists, journalists, copyright experts and other creators can come together to share and discuss the issues close to their hearts. At Mozfest, COMMUNIA organised two session on copyright issues. We wanted to explain the role it plays online, but also to reimagine copyright that could support, and not hinder, new forms of creativity.
Belinda Townsend, Deborah Gleeson, Hazel Moir, Joel Lexchin and Ruth Lopert in The Conversation, Link (CC-BY-SA)
Negotiators from 11 countries have been racing to resurrect the near-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend.
The latest plan to get the controversial trade deal up and running again after the withdrawal of the United States involves freezing some of its controversial rules. These include rules for biologic drugs, an expensive class of medicines often used to treat conditions such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] An EIFL review of Malawi’s Copyright Act of 2016 has found that although the new law permits a range of library activities such as making copies for research and use of works in virtual learning environments, it places big limits on what libraries can do in practice, misses opportunities to enable digital activities, and restricts the making of accessible format copies.
The review assesses the Copyright Act from the library perspective.
It aims to raise awareness about the law, help librarians understand what the law means for library activities and services in Malawi, and highlight areas for future improvement.
France, Portugal and Spain have waded into the debate on the notorious Article 13 of the EU’s proposed Copyright Directive with a proposal that would oblige online content-sharing platforms to introduce mandatory automated filtering of uploads, as originally proposed by the Commission but recently questioned by a number of Member States.
[Inside U.S. Trade, Link] Industry groups are calling on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to elevate Colombia to its list of most egregious intellectual property violators, claiming that Bogota’s IP regime runs afoul of commitments it made in its trade agreement with the U.S. and violates World Trade Organization obligations. In USTR’s annual Special 301 report, released in April, Colombia was listed on what is known as the “watch list,” in addition to being one of three countries selected for an out-of-cycle review. …In that report, USTR knocked Colombia for not delivering on IP commitments outlined in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and said it would monitor the implementation of the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) for policies that could “undermine innovation and IP systems.” The agency also cited online piracy, copyright enforcement and regulatory approvals for pharmaceutical products as areas to watch in 2017.
[Creative Commons Urugualy, Link (CC-BY)] El 16 de octubre el Poder Ejecutivo firmó el decreto que reglamenta la excepción al derecho de autor aprobada por el Parlamento en octubre de 2013 en beneficio de personas ciegas o con dificultades para el acceso al texto impreso. Esta reglamentación hace efectivo el Tratado de Marrakech, firmado por nuestro país en 2013 y ratificado al año siguiente.
Abstract: For cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) the divide between material and immaterial is epitomised by the impact of digital technologies. Ideally, in line with theories of cultural property and the objectives of CHIs, CHIs should be able to make use of the enhanced opportunities provided by digital technologies for effective archiving and preservation and for increased public accessibility to their collections. In practice however due to large numbers of works that are copyright orphan works in their collections, CHIs are legally unable to do this because effective digital archiving requires that many copies be made of the physical item.
[Desmond Oriakhogba, reposted from University of Cape Town IP Unit, Link] On 4 October 2017, Nigeria deposited during the 57th meeting of the WIPO general assembly in Geneva four ratification instruments concerning the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) of 1996, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) of 1996; the WIPO Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances of 2012 (Beijing Treaty); and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled of 2013 (Marrakesh Treaty) with the WIPO. The ratification instruments were signed by the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (President Muhammadu Buhari) on 24 August 2017.
Consequently, Nigeria has now accepted and undertaken to respect and implement the obligations under these treaties. However, the treaties do not have any force of law within the Nigerian territory unless domesticated (s12 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999) either by an enforcement and domestication Act or by including its provisions in the Copyright Act, Cap C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 through an amendment. This piece argues that as we celebrate the ratification of the treaties, there is, however, a great need to pause and ponder on the effect of implementing ‘the standards stipulated in the treaties’ in Nigeria. What impact will the standards in the treaties have on creativity, innovation and access to information for educational purposes in Nigeria? Put broadly, what effect will they have on the knowledge economy and the overall development in Nigeria?
[Nick Shockey, SPARC, Link (CC-BY)] Hundreds of events will take place across the globe to highlight the power of Open Access to increase the impact of scientific and scholarly research during the 10th annual International Open Access Week taking place from October 23-29, 2017.
This year’s theme of “Open in Order to…” is meant to move the discussion beyond talking about openness itself and instead focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits. The theme also recognizes the diverse contexts and communities within which the shift to Open Access is occurring and encourages specific discussion that will be most effective locally.
[Catherine Saez, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] World Trade Organization committee members this week were asked to recommend to the upcoming ministerial conference whether to lift or indefinitely prolong a moratorium shielding intellectual property from complaints between members not involving a breach of a WTO agreement. Short of a consensus, the intellectual property committee will have to reconvene next month to try to find agreement. Separately, a two-year extension was granted to countries not yet having ratified the public health amendment to WTO IP rules.