[Andrew Rens] The parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry is debating a bill to amend the 1978 Copyright Act. The bill, which originated with the Department of Trade and Industry, is intended to give legacy industries such as publishing and civil society institutions such as libraries at least some of the concession they have sought for years, sometimes decades. While the issues at stake are clearly of paramount national importance and not always easy to resolve, the resulting bill is a backward-looking amalgam of provisions poorly aligned with the National Development Plan.
Electronic Information for Libraries press release, Link (CC- BY)
EIFL is delighted to announce that our popular library guide to the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities is now available in Spanish, bringing to eight the total number of languages for the guide. The Marrakesh Treaty, which entered into force in September 2016 with respect to those countries that have ratified the treaty, gives organizations like libraries the right to reproduce printed works in accessible formats like braille and audio, and to exchange these works across national borders. EIFL has been a strong advocate for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and its implementation into national law.
[Teresa Nobre, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] The European Union is currently discussing a reform of its copyright system, including making mandatory certain copyright exceptions, in order to introduce a balance into the system. However, no one, except Julia Reda, is paying any attention to one of the biggest obstacles to the enforcement of copyright exceptions in the digital age: technological protection measures (TPM), including digital rights management (DRM). In this blogpost we will present the reasons why the European Parliament should not lose this opportunity to discuss a reform of the EU anti-circumvention rules.
[Reposted from https://copycamp.pl/en/ (CC-BY)] The 6th CopyCamp took place in Warsaw on September 28th and 29th under the title „the Internet of Copyrighted Things”. This year we gathered 60 guests from 21 countries who shared their expertise during presentations and workshops with those who joined us in Kino Praha or watched our live streaming on YouTube. We listened to stories touching on real-life issues in culture, science, education, medicine and agriculture. And it was a great success! In the post-conference survey, our participants evaluated the conference with an average grade of 5,15 (with 6 being the maximum grade).
[Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, Senators Durbin, Franken, and King, in conjunction with Representatives Polis and Sinema, introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act to the 115th Congress. In summary, the Affordable College Textbook Act provides funding for institutions of higher education to develop, adapt, and adopt openly-licensed educational resources that “either reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others.”
[Reto Hilty and Valentina Moscon] On 14 September 2016 the European Commission published a package of proposals aimed at the modernisation of copyright within the digital single market. This copyright package is of particular interest to the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, which has been committed since its founding in 1966 to the analysis and development of intellectual property and competition law on the basis of established scientific principles.
[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.
[Drugs for Neglected Diseases press release, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] Malaysia has issued a “government use” licence enabling access to more affordable versions of an expensive and patented medicine to treat hepatitis C. This landmark decision should help the more than 400,000 people living with hepatitis C in Malaysia access sofosbuvir, and could have important repercussions in the global effort to secure access to expensive treatments for this viral disease.
SPARC Europe, Link (CC-BY)
SPARC Europe is leading and collaborating with an international coalition in an effort to halt the adoption of harmful provisions found in the current draft of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and certain amendments, which could threaten Open Access and Open Science.
The coalition has written an open letter directed at the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee, which was delivered 6th September. In the letter, we urge for the removal of proposals that would restrict access to research and place administrative and legal burdens on institutional repositories. We also request improvements on proposals related to text and data mining, copyright in an education setting, and preservation and access to works for non-commercial endeavors.
[William New, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-SA] The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced an “out-of-cycle” review of Thailand’s intellectual property policies after what USTR said were reports of improvement on several IP issues including trademarks and enforcement. Another area of the review will be pharmaceuticals. USTR Robert Lighthizer announced the review of Thailand’s status under the US “Special 301” process that unilaterally assesses trading partners’ treatment of US intellectual property rights. Lighthizer was meeting in Washington, DC with Thailand’s Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn to “discuss ways to increase trade and reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Thailand.”
[Commons Network, Link (CC-BY)] In early October, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote on the Digital Single Market copyright legislation. Here we would like to express our alarm at the direction EU copyright legislation is taking. We are profoundly concerned that a number of proposals, including Article 11 and Article 13, will mean disproportionate restrictions on the fundamental right of freedom of information as well as the creation of new and costly barriers and administrative burdens for adopted EU policies mandating open access, open education and open science.
[Timothy Vollmer, Communia Assocation, Link (CC-0)] Summer is nearly over, and the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) has published their final opinion on the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The opinion comes following the committee vote on 11 July. We were hopeful that CULT could deliver some helpful (and much needed) changes to the Commission’s proposal, including broadening the education exception, permitting cultural heritage institutions to share their collections online, deleting the dangerous press publishers right, and opposing upload filters for online platforms. Regarding text and data mining (TDM), we wished for CULT to push for expanding the exception so TDM could be conducted by anyone, for any purpose. Instead, CULT has doubled down on their backward approach to Article 3.