Oct 232014
 

JK at TOCTERA Associates has released a follow up to their 2010 study on the impact of “piracy” on creative industries in the European Union.  The new study, entitled “The Economic Contribution of the Creative Industries to EU GDP and Employment,” makes three arguments:

1)     That the creative industries include 8.3 million “core” creative jobs and 5.7 million “interdependent” and “non-dedicated support” jobs, totaling 14% of the EU27 workforce and contributing 6.8% of GDP (€ 860 billion).

2)     That between 2008 and 2011, piracy “destroyed” € 27.1 – 39.7 billion in economic value, resulting in a loss of between 64,089 and 955,125 jobs.  According to TERA’s forecast, these numbers are likely to climb to € 166-240 billion by 2015, with 600,000 to 1.2 million jobs lost.

3)     That although economic depression and other factors may play a role in some sectoral changes, (such as retail), these job and economic losses are attributable to the failure of EU member states to adopt stronger IP enforcement measures. Continue reading »

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Oct 232014
 
Image:  EFF (CC-BY)

Image: EFF (CC-BY)

The newly leaked May 16 draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter confirms previous reports that negotiators are discussing plans to postpone some of the TRIPS-Plus obligations on intellectual property and pharmaceuticals for some of the countries involved.

It includes as an addendum a “Proposal on Patent Pharmaceuticals Transition Periods” that would establish three “categories” of country, which are relatively high, middle, and low income. The relatively middle and low income countries would have transition periods that delayed their obligations related to patent extensions, linkage, and data exclusivity. After relatively short transition periods, all countries would have to apply the TRIPS-Plus rules that the World Health Organization warns may have “adverse impacts on access to medicines.” (p.72) Continue reading »

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Oct 132014
 

es-lgflagEl Salvador has become the second country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.  Minister of  Economy Tharsis Solomon López submitted the notification on October 1.

So far, the only other country to ratify the treaty has been India, which ratified it on June 30. Continue reading »

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Oct 072014
 

Flynn - Favored PicBrand name pharmaceutical companies are advocating for inclusion of disciplines on public pharmaceutical reimbursement programs in the ongoing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreements. This post answers some frequently asked questions by U.S. public health advocates about these proposals.

Why is pharmaceutical reimbursement policy being negotiated in trade agreements? Continue reading »

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Oct 012014
 

Sean FlynnCo-published on atlantic-community.org.

As the 7th Round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gets underway behind closed doors in Chevy Chase, Maryland, it is an opportune time to ask what proponents of a successful TTIP should learn from the latest failed trade agreement negotiation involving the U.S. and Europe – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).  Continue reading »

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Aug 182014
 

sean at podiumOn August 18, a group of South African and international legal experts will work with South African filmmakers to better understand their rights as users as well as creators under copyright law. The meeting will focus on actions filmmakers can take to use and expand user rights in South Africa that are necessary to fully enable the vibrant filmmaking industry that already exists, and to support emerging artists. Continue reading »

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Jul 062014
 

sean at podiumFannie Rascle — French journalist (@fannierascle) working for a website called novethic.fr, interviewed me today for an article about TTIP and transparency. Here are her questions and my answers.

European Union documents relating to TTIP could be made public after a European Court of Justice ruling yesterday : do you think it is an important decision ?

I am not an expert on that opinion. I read it to say that the Commission has to justify its decisions to not release documents related to international negotiations. I believe that the justification is weak for not having any method for a country to  share with its own citizens proposals to change international law. The making of law should be the most public of our governmental activities. Continue reading »

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May 212014
 

USTR SealLast week, USTR announced that it was closing a “partially open” meeting of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business.  No reason was given for the closing of the meeting. But this led an office in Congress to request the Congressional Research Service to find out just how many open meetings of the ITACs there have been. The answer:

Since 2004, there have been 13 “partially open” meetings of ITACS. Oddly, all but one of the open meetings were of the small and minority business committee. Continue reading »

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May 162014
 

englishMark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund has written an email responding to a letter from 220 civil society organizations demanding that the Global Fund abandon its “tiered-pricing” proposal.

His response:

“Thank you for your letter. Dialogue is healthy and we appreciate the opportunity to engage. Of course there has not been time to consult with other organizations, but because you mention the world health assembly, I thought it might be useful to send a rapid response from me alone.

We have greatly appreciated the constructive feedback and adjusted the language and approach to be clear that this effort is not about tiered pricing. Continue reading »

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Apr 032014
 

sean at podium30 international intellectual property law professors from around the world filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today in ABC v. Aereo. Aereo is being accused of being directly liable for copyright infringement by supplying equipment for a remote DVR service that allows consumers to record and play back free-to-air television programming. The brief responds to arguments made by IFPI et al and some other amici supporting ABC that international copyright law — including the Berne Convention, WIPO Copyright Treaty and several Free Trade Agreements — control the case. This brief argues that international law is not controlling, but rather leaves countries free to hold that Aereo’s equipment only facilitates private copying by consumers. Continue reading »

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Mar 212014
 

sean at podiumThe United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced that it would not seek sanctions against Ukraine following its designation as a Priority Foreign Country in the Special 301 process last year. The notice states that the USTR sticks by its finding that “certain intellectual property rights (IPR) acts, policies, and practices of Ukraine are unreasonable and burden or restrict United States commerce and are thus actionable under section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act).” But it is not taking action “[i]n light of the current political situation in Ukraine.” There is another reason USTR is not taking any action – sanctioning Ukraine or any other World Trade Organization member under Special 301 would violate the WTO. Continue reading »

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Mar 212014
 

sean at podiumThe USTR recently issued two notices seeking membership applications for its Trade Advisory Committee System. One notice seeks “Industry” advisors and another seeks those for a new “Public Interest” committee. Each notice announces that the Committees will be established “[p]ursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.).” The Committees also operate under Charters which state that the Committees will be operated “in accordance with the provisions of the FACA, . . . with the exceptions set forth in the Trade Act.” That last line, it turns out, is key. The Trade Act gives USTR broad authority to exempt the operation of these committees from FACA open government requirements, which USTR uses habitually. One positive reform of the system would be for USTR at its discretion — or for Congress through the force of law — to apply all of the provisions of FACA to USTR’s advisory committees — just as would apply if these committees were being consulted on rule making by any other federal agency. Continue reading »

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