Author: REPOST

Google testimony on online “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online”

Today, Google’s Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker testified at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet. The hearing was the second in a series of hearings being held before the introduction of legislation similar to last year’s COICA.  Click here for the full text. EXCERPT: Google supports developing effective policy and technology tools to combat large-scale commercial infringement. As I’ll describe below, Google has dedicated tens of millions of dollars in engineering and other resources to help weed out notorious bad actors. But such activity accounts for only a very small percentage overall of the creative, political, social, and commercial opportunities created and empowered by the web. As this Subcommittee considers new enforcement tools against rogue foreign websites, it should not jeopardize the legitimate Internet services and technologies that underlie the United States’ lead in the global information...

Read More

CopySouth Research Group Releases Series of Papers from the 3rd Internaitonal Conference on Copyright Issues.

The CopySouth Research Group, a global of academics formed in 2004 to discuss the impact of copyrights on the global South, has released a series of nine papers prepared for its workshop last June. Says the CSRG:  “We turn first to the general issue of cultural flows between the north and the south. Central to issues of copyright are the ways in which those controlling policymaking are able to define concepts such as piracy within the context of copyright policy. Debora Halbert argues in her paper that despite the prevailing assumption that culture flows southward from the north, and that piracy defines the relationship between cultural producers and consumers, it is essential to understand the importance of cultural flows in all directions and establish a legal framework that does not punish the flow of culture but rather facilitates it.  Lillian Alvarez discusses in her paper the importance cultural diversity and the experiences in Cuba seeking to defend cultural diversity.  One of the more recent cases coming out of the United States that will affect access to knowledge is the Google Books settlement, the subject of Alan Story’s piece.  Story places the Googlization of everying under a critical lens and seeks to position our understanding of Google books within the larger context of access to knowledge.  Juan Carlos Cordero and Mat Callahan both professional musicians who understand the copyright system...

Read More

NEW LEGAL REVIEW: how a global IP enforcement scheme has withered behind closed doors

Michael Blakeney April 1, 2011 Original: http://goo.gl/tZhwt The annual $US 60 billion trade in counterfeit and pirate products was the principal catalyst of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and its IP rights enforcement regime. However, 10 years later, this trade had grown tenfold, despite TRIPS. A select group of mainly industrialised countries, convened by the US, Japan and the EU, perceived that the panacea for dealing with this burgeoning illegal trade was to supplement TRIPS with even more IP rights enforcement and they agreed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the final text of which was released on 10 December 2010. The idea is that all countries, including those not even invited to participate in the drafting of the agreement, will adopt it in their domestic IP rights legislation. However, this blog suggests that the lack of transparency and the selectivity in establishing the negotiating group may well undermine the inclusion of ACTA in the international IP rights regime. For more than two years after the commencement of negotiations, no official drafts of the agreement were released for public scrutiny and the specific terms under discussion in the negotiations were not identified as the negotiating parties informed questioners that they were obliged to observe confidentiality conditions. The first intimation of the content of ACTA was a Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which was...

Read More

Federal denies IP owner’s injunction, says Photobucket has no duty to police site

BNA reports that “An online service that permits users to upload, store, and share images has no duty to ensure those files are noninfringing, even if it has received Digital Millennium Copyright Act-compliant notices requesting the removal of a plaintiff’s works in the past, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled March 17 (Wolk v. Kodak Imaging Network Inc., S.D.N.Y., No. 10-4135, 3/17/11).” Click here for the order. | Click here for the  BNA...

Read More

Cdn Heritage Ctee Recommends Excluding Copyright From Trade Deals, Limits on Implementing ACTA

Michael Geist March 21, 2011 The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has released its report on CETA and ACTA.  The report, which is based on hearings that featured Minister Peter van Loan, includes a notable recommendation with respect to ACTA implementation and future trade negotiations, including the ongoing Canada – European Union Trade Agreement discussions.  Click here for the full...

Read More

European Voice: MEPs want to Refer ACTA to the ECJ

Claims that anti-counterfeiting agreement goes beyond EU law. By Simon Taylor 17.03.2011 / 05:08 CET Original: http://goo.gl/VRsd9 MEPs opposed to a new global anti-counterfeiting agreement will try next week to refer the pact to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), arguing that it goes beyond existing EU law. Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green MEP, has written to Klaus-Heiner Lehne, chairman of the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee, and MEPs from other political groups, requesting that the ECJ’s opinion be sought on whether the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) complies with EU law. Albrecht and other MEPs want the issue put on the agenda of a meeting of the legal affairs committee on 21-22 March. A deal was reached on ACTA by negotiators in December, but the agreement still has to be ratified by participating governments. It must also be approved by the European Parliament under Lisbon treaty rules, which give MEPs the right to reject international trade agreements. Opponents of ACTA argue that it exceeds the scope of EU law because it imposes requirements to enforce anti-counterfeiting measures. The case against ACTA has received a boost from a group of seven European academic experts in intellectual property law. They have urged the EU institutions to withhold consent for the agreement as it contains “serious deviations” from EU law. They say they have “serious concerns on fundamental rights and data...

Read More

FFII: European ACTA Negotiators’ Notes Still Secret

Original Post: http://acta.ffii.org/wordpress/?p=578 March 16, 2011 By Ante Pedro Velasco Martins, EU ACTA negotiator, today answered FFII’s 30 December 2010 questions on the initialling of ACTA. ACTA was initialed on 25 November 2010, through an electronic procedure. The Commission chief-negotiator initialled all the pages of the text, including the criminal measures. The Commission added negotiators’ notes in the course of the negotiations. The EU has not decided yet whether it will publish its negotiators’ notes. Negotiators’ notes may influence the interpretation of ACTA. According to the Commission ACTA will fall under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The FFII believes the notes should be published. The EU Council Presidency initialed ACTA as well, didn’t add negotiator’s notes. Both the Commission and Council seem to disregard that the EU may not be competent to include the criminal measures. Initialling ACTA didn’t fall under the secrecy agreement. “Initialling ACTA is not a secret. Both the Council and the European Parliament and the EP were duly informed.” One could ask if initialling isn’t a secret, why was the Parliament informed in a confidential communication, and not in an open communication? Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Japan, Morocco and Switzerland initialed ACTA as well. Pedro Velasco Martins’ email: Regarding your information request under reference, please find below DG Trade’s reply: As a general remark to your questions...

Read More

COMPUTER WEEKLY: US presses punitive copyright deal on trade partners

Repost from: http://goo.gl/btVHB Ian Grant March 14, 2011 The US is continuing its secret efforts to secure tougher copyright laws, even though its Hollywood-sponsored anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (Acta) has still to be validated, a leaked document has revealed. A 10 February draft of the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Rights Chapter calls for the provisions of the US’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act to be implemented by countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Vietnam. Its provisions criminalise illegal copying, even though the material may carry invisible trademarks or are not registered trademarks. As regards internet domain names, each party would have to ensure there was a dispute settlement regime and that there was online public access to a “reliable and accurate database of contact information concerning domain name registrants”. <a href=”http://adserver.adtech.de/adlink|289|1437310|0|277|AdId=6092523;BnId=1;itime=91439004;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;nodecode=yes;link=http://clk.atdmt.com/I90/go/303429193/direct/01/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://view.atdmt.com/I90/view/303429193/direct/01/91439004″/></a><noscript><a href=”http://adserver.adtech.de/adlink|289|1437310|0|277|AdId=6092523;BnId=1;itime=91439004;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;nodecode=yes;link=http://clk.atdmt.com/I90/go/303429193/direct/01/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://view.atdmt.com/I90/view/303429193/direct/01/91439004″ /></a></noscript> It would also indemnify the secret collection and sharing of personally identifiable information in connection with their online behaviour. It would extend copyright protection for music “performances” to the life of the author plus 70 years. It would also allow courts to award the winning party’s damages, court costs, and “reasonable attorneys’ fees”. The draft was obtained by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), which said the US Trade Representative (USTR), which led earlier Acta talks, had sought to classify the document until four years from entry into force or the...

Read More

China Daily: Improved IPR protection to support innovation

PEOPLE’S DAILY, March 14, 2011:  China will strengthen its protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs), in a bid to improve the nation’s capacity for innovation, said senior figures from six ministries and administrations. Officials from the six bodies, which include the Ministry of Commerce, the State Intellectual Property Office and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, jointly pledged at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress on Sunday to strengthen efforts to combat IPR infringements and to make IPR protection a “long-term” national task. In June 2008, the State Council launched the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, which aims to help the nation transform its economic development mode and improve its international competitiveness. “We have achieved remarkable progress on the strategy during the past two years and more, but there is still much room for improvement,” said He Hua, vice-commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office. Click here for the story from People’s...

Read More

WIPO DG Speech at the Blue Sky Conference: Future Directions in Copyright Law

Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia The Future of Copyright I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this Conference. I commend the Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the principal organizers of the Conference, Professor Brian Fitzgerald and Ben Atkinson, for taking up the gauntlet thrown down by the digital society. Few issues in intellectual property or, if I may suggest, cultural policy are as important as the consequences of the revolutionary structural change introduced by digital technology and the Internet. Recently, as the number of people in the world with access to the Internet passes two billion1, support for addressing the consequences of this fundamental change has come from the highest levels. Both President Sarkozy of France and President Medvedev of the Russian Federation have called for the G20 to consider the issue. In his speech at Davos earlier this year, President Medvedev stated that “the old principles of intellectual property regulation are not working anymore, particularly when it comes to the Internet”. That, he stated, “is fraught with the collapse of the entire intellectual property rights system”. Digital technology and the Internet have created the most powerful instrument for the democratization of knowledge since the invention of moveable type for printing. They have introduced perfect fidelity and near zero-marginal costs in...

Read More

Derechos Digitales Statement on Intellectual Property in the TPP

Today, Chilean civil society group Derechos Digitales has released the following statement: During this week was held in Santiago,  Chile the V Round of Negotiations for the extension of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement of Free Trade (known as TPP), signed by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore (P4) in 2005, which seek to join the United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia. According to published reports, the new multilateral agreement would mean the creation of a broad free trade area between some of the largest economies in America and Asia, and would include, among other regulations, new international rules on intellectual property. For ONG Derechos Digitales, the establishment of new obligations on intellectual property in general and in particular copyright- in a new free trade agreement is a matter of great concern. Over the past decade, Chile incorporated into domestic law provisions that are above international standards agreed at the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization, as a result of obligations under the Free Trade Agreement signed with the United States in 2003. Therefore, we call upon the Government of Chile to don’t undertake to negotiate or accept any new obligations that may affect the rights of users and domestic consumers by excessive protection of intellectual property. Instead, we encourage our country to promote standards that balance the legitimate rights and interests of stakeholders, such...

Read More

Letter from 18 Members of Congress to President Obama

Dear Mr. President, As the current round of negotiations on the proposed TransPacific Partnership free trade agreement (FTA) commences in Chile, we write to urge your Administration to pursue the highest level of protection for American intellectual property (IP) rights. … Complete February 14, 2011 letter from 18 Members of Congress to President...

Read More

Executive Order — Establishment of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committees

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/08/executive-order-establishment-intellectual-property-enforcement-advisory The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release February 08, 2011 Executive Order — Establishment of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committees ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES   By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including title III of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-403)(15 U.S.C. 8111-8116) (the “PRO IP Act”), and in order to strengthen the efforts of the Federal Government to encourage innovation through the effective and efficient enforcement of laws protecting copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property, both in the United States and abroad, including matters relating to combating infringement, and thereby support efforts to reinvigorate the Nation’s global competitiveness, accelerate export growth, promote job creation, and reduce threats posed to national security and to public health and safety, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Senior Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committee. (a)  Establishment of Committee.  There is established an interagency Senior Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committee (Senior Advisory Committee), which shall be chaired by the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (Coordinator), Executive Office of the President. (b)  Membership.  The Senior Advisory Committee shall be composed of the Coordinator, who shall chair it, and the heads of, or the deputies to the heads of: (i)     the Department of...

Read More

European Academics’ Opinion on ACTA

A group of prominent European academics has released today an opinion on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The opinion identifies the most critical aspects of ACTA and invites European and national institutions to carefully consider the opinion before ratifying the Agreement or withholding consent. The opinion is open for signatures until February 7, 2011. It will then be submitted to the European Parliament and other relevant European and national institutions. The text of the Opinion can be found...

Read More

Inside U.S. Trade: ACTA Parties May Sign Final Agreement On Sidelines of OECD Meeting

Inside U.S. Trade December 17 Parties to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may sign the text of the final agreement in late May on the sidelines of the ministerial for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, according to informed sources. ACTA parties are considering the OECD ministerial as a possible venue because it brings together high-ranking officials from most of the ACTA parties. But one source said that the OECD forum is only one option for a signing venue, and nothing has yet been finalized. By the time of the ministerial, it is likely that Greece and Italy will have backed away from their threats of blocking the the ACTA in the council, which will allow member states governments to approve the agreement. A Greek official said there is too much pressure from other EU member states in favor of the agreement for Greece to ignore when considering a vote at the European Council and risk being singled out as a country that prevented the EU from being able to sign the ACTA. Italy and Greece are ultimately unlikely to block the agreement at the Council, although they could refuse to ratify ACTA on the national level, he suggested. … Subscribers to Inside U.S. Trade may view the entire story at:...

Read More

ACTA Fact Sheet and Guide to Public Draft Text

REPRINTED FROM USTR WEBSITE – ACTA Fact Sheet and Guide to Public Draft Text   Following the 11th and final round of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations, held in Tokyo from September 23-October 2, trading partners representing more than fifty percent of world trade developed and released draft text for what will be the highest-standard plurilateral agreement ever achieved concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Process The participants agreed to work expeditiously to resolve the small number of outstanding issues that require further examination in their own countries, with a view to finalizing the text of the agreement as promptly as possible. The draft Agreement will undergo final legal review and be released for review before participants sign. Signature will be followed by processes to approve the Agreement. Participants Participants in the negotiations included: Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU) represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency (Belgium) and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America. Purpose Consistent with the Administration’s strategy for intellectual property enforcement, ACTA establishes a state-of-the-art international framework that provides a model for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st century. The agreement also includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong enforcement practices. Together these provisions will help to protect American...

Read More

U.S. Civil Society Platform on Trade-Related Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines Issues

  Download Platform (PDF) The following represents four key goals that our organizations agree should guide US trade policy and practice with regard to intellectual property (IP) and health matters. Under each goal we have listed specific actions that we would like to see the Obama Administration — including but not limited to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) — and the U.S. Congress take, as appropriate, in order to work toward these goals. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of actions, but rather those we all agree are critical to achieving these goals. Some of our organizations do not work on all of the issues raised, while others work on relevant issues not specifically mentioned in this platform. Yet we are united in our support for these goals and would like to work with the Administration and Congress to advance such an agenda to promote both innovation and access to affordable life-saving medicines. US trade policy and practice should: 1. Promote availability of affordable life-saving medications and protect public health in developing countries Among the actions we recommend toward this end are the following: Reaffirm the US commitment to the 2001 WTO Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and the 2008 WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, permit use of TRIPS...

Read More