[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.
[Originally posted on twn.my, Link] There is little evidence to support WIPO’s approach of asserting intellectual property as a central piece of innovation, says Professor Carlos Correa, Senior Advisor at South Centre.
Prof. Correa, a renowned IP expert, was speaking at a side event on the “Future of WIPO’s Development Agenda”, organised by the South Centre, in conjunction with the meetings of the WIPO Assemblies (2-11 October) in Geneva.
[Médecins Sans Frontières press release] The Philippines is set to host the 18th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement’s negotiations in Manila this week. Negotiators from the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six further countries – India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea –will meet to hammer out this multilateral trade deal that covers nearly half of the global population.
Japan and South Korea are pushing for measures that go beyond what is required by the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS), called ‘TRIPS-plus.’ This would mean extending drug corporations’ patent terms and entrenching new monopolies in the national drug regulatory system (‘data exclusivity’) in countries like India, leading to a delay in generic competition, which translates into high drug prices for people across the world. Further, the proposed investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the leaked draft investment chapter and its intersection with other proposals on IP could potentially undermine governments’ capacity to implement and execute policies to protect public health and ensure universal healthcare, of which access to life-saving medicines is an essential component.
Krista Cox, Association of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY)
On February 27, 2017, Louisiana State University (LSU) filed a lawsuit against international science publisher Elsevier after the publisher breached its contract and refused to allow LSU’s veterinarian school faculty and students to access Elsevier content licensed by LSU’s Libraries. ARL’s press release is available here.
[Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] SOTC explores the wide array of creativity and knowledge that is freely available to the world under CC licenses. Throughout the report, we’ll show how the body of work in the commons has grown and developed this year, and explore the impact the commons is making on our culture.
In previous editions of SOTC, we’ve focused our efforts on measuring and reporting quantitative data—for instance, the total number of openly-licensed works online, the percentage of CC licenses used across various fields, and the volume of CC-licensed works that are available to the public through the many online sharing platforms where our legal tools are prevalent. That data is still here, but this year we’ve gone further: CC’s new organizational strategy is focused on increasing the vibrancy and usability of the commons (not just its breadth and volume), so we’re focusing on the stories and people behind the creativity in the commons as well.
On March 29, PIJIP will team up with the American University International Law Review and a number of other organizations to host a one-day conference: Globalizing Fair Use: Exploring the Diffusion of General, Open and Flexible Exceptions in Copyright Law.
9:00 – 3:30: An academic symposium co-hosted by PIJIP and the American University International Law Review will exploring new directions in domestic and international copyright law promoting adoption of general copyright exceptions that are open and flexible. Click here for the symposium agenda.
The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, the Australian Digital Alliance and Internet NZ are hosting a series of meetings and workshops on user rights in copyright reform in Australia and New Zealand February 13-24. Participants in the events include Michael Geist, Bill Patry, Sang Jo Jong, Kimberlee Weatherall, Rebecca Giblin, Suzy Frankel, Jessica Coates, Heesob Nam, Peter Jaszi, Patricia Aufderheide, Sean Flynn and Meredith Jacob.
Public events on the tour include:
Twenty trade associations have written the House and Senate leadership urging Congressional engagement on the trade relationship between the U.S. and India. Their letter identifies intellectual property protection as an “ongoing challenge.” It highlights diplomatic structures where the countries have discussed IP and other issues, then notes that “WTO dispute settlement has played and should continue to play a key role in ensuring that India follows through on its international commitments.”
[Reposted from the Association of Research Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] In December 2016, strong endorsements of fair use appeared in somewhat unexpected places.
First, the Joint Strategic Plan (“JSP”) released by the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator on December 12, 2016, stated that nothing in the JSP:
should be interpreted as limiting the scope of exceptions and limitations, such as fair use, under U.S. copyright law. To the contrary, the basic principles that have permitted the Internet to thrive must be safeguarded, and the Strategic Plan expressly recognizes and celebrates advancements in technology. The way people use and access content – which has led to new and innovative uses of media (e.g., remixes and mashups involving music, video and the visual arts), and fair use, for example – will undoubtedly continue to evolve. We must work to foster creativity, understanding the role of exceptions and limitations as not only part of our body of laws, but as an important part of our culture. Indeed, it is the combination of strong copyright rights with a balance between the protection of rights and exceptions and limitations that encourages creativity, promotes innovation, and ensures our freedom of speech and creative expression are respected.
Andy, TorrentFreak, Link (CC-BY-NC)
A court in Germany has held the operator of a commercial website liable after it unknowingly linked to infringing content hosted elsewhere. The Hamburg Regional Court found that the link to a Creative Commons image, posted to another site without the correct attribution, amounted to a copyright infringement.
[AFTINet Press Release, Link] “The Australian government should reject the push from US Republican Congress members to increase biologic medicine monopolies by seven years, even more than the extra three years which has already been agreed in the TPP text,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.
[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] Last month the European Commission released its proposed changes to copyright in the EU. Unfortunately, the proposal fails to deliver on the promise for a modern copyright law in Europe. In an ideal world, the Directive would have provided for progressive policy changes to serve the goals of a unified digital marketplace across Europe. It would have jumpstarted economic activity, championed innovative digital technologies and services, and protected consumers and access to information. It would have expanded opportunities for European businesses, cultural heritage institutions, educators, and the research community.