This month has been a busy one for Paraguay’s copyright law and Internet governance. The Paraguayan Congress decided to reject copyright legislation that sought to modify the current copyright law in articles 128,138, and 139. ( See ) The reform would have established an “arbitral commission” as part of the Intellectual Property Office (DINAPI) in charge of establishing the fee rate for using copyright. Moreover, the bill of law established that the fee should be paid in a state-dependent “one-stop” location.
Earlier this month, Senator Jeff Sessions wrote President Obama to ask him to make a section of the Trans Pacific Partnership public – the section that creates a “new transnational governance structure known as the Trans Pacific Partnership Commission” which would “have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental and commercial policy.”
The senator was frustrated by the secrecy surrounding the text. To read it, he had to visit the secret reading room in the basement of the Capitol Visitors center where legislators can read the text, while being watched by security guards. He is unable to discuss anything he has read with advisers, staffers, or the people he represents.
Congress appears poised to pass Trade Promotion Authority, otherwise known as ‘fast track,’ for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). If this happens, it will likely close the door to any possibility of meaningful public input about TPP’s scope and contours. That’s a major problem, as this “21st century trade agreement” encompassing around 800 million people in the United States and eleven other countries, will impact areas ranging from access to medicine (who gets it) to digital privacy rights (who has them). But, unless you are a United States Trade Representative (USTR) “cleared advisor” (which almost always means that you represent an industry, like entertainment or pharmaceuticals), or, under certain limited circumstances, an elected official, your chief source of TPP information is WikiLeaks. In other words, if Julian Assange gets his hands on a draft TPP text, you might see it, once he decides that it should be made public. Of course, you’ll have to hope that the copy that you see is current and accurate.
[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Access Campaign, Link (CC-BY)] Today, patient groups and other leading health organisations in South Africa have joined the Fix the Patent Laws campaign to push for reform of the country’s current patent laws that severely restrict access to affordable medicines for all people living in South Africa. Together, they call on the government to urgently finalise a National Policy on Intellectual Property that champions measures to reduce prices and increase access to a wide range of medicines for people in need across South Africa.
[Cross posted from brandonbutler.info, Link, (CC-BY)] Wednesday was day two of the Washington, D.C. portion of the triennial rule making to determine whether breaking digital locks that block copying from DVDs, Blu-ray, and other digital media should be allowed in a series of defined cases. There was also a series of hearings in Los Angeles, CA, last week to address some of the proposals with mostly West Coast-based proponents and opponents. There were some intriguing rays of hope in Wednesday’s hearing in DC.
Dehli Network of Positive People
Press release, Link
Increasing IP barriers will have severe impact on generic medicines ‘Made in India’
Indian Prime Minister Must Resist Big Pharma Pressure to Trade Away Medicines
New Delhi, 29 April 2015: At a conference titled ‘IP as Frontline Tool for Make in India’, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (FICCI) to mark World IP Week, the Delhi Network of Positive People and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition held a protest before Mr. Amitabh Kant (Secretary DIPP), Mr. Rajeev Agarwal (Patent Controller General) and Mr. N.K. Sabarwal (Convenor, IP Thank Tank), highlighting the negative impact of IP barriers on generic medicines ‘Made in India’.
The table linked below compares the full text of Title XXII of the Trade Act of 2002, ( the last Trade Promotion Authority law, which expired in 2007); the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014; and the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. It includes the text of each, and highlights areas where they differ.
This table is an update of an earlier 2-column table by Terence P. Stewart of the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart. PIJIP Fellow Alexandra Resh updated it with the new information.
Content creators and everyday Canadians will pay the price for continued mishandling of copyright policy from government, as unaddressed Notice and Notice loophole continues to expose Canadians to abuse
[OpenMedia Press Release, Link, (CC-BY-NC-SA)] Canadians got an unpleasant surprise in the budget yesterday when the government announced that it would be extending copyright for sound recordings by 20 years, up from Canada’s current term of life of the creator plus 50 years. The move comes after the flawed implementation of Canada’s Notice and Notice system, which has left Canadians exposed to abusive and misleading copyright notices from foreign media giants.
[Cross posted from the American Constitutional Society blog, Link] The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that was released last week contains a fascinating Section 8 on “Sovereignty.” The section appears intended to make all trade agreements with the U.S. not binding to the extent that they contradict any provision of U.S. law, current or future. If valid, the section would go a long way to calming fears in this country that new trade agreements, like the old ones, could be used by corporations or other countries to force the U.S. to alter domestic regulations. (See, for example, analysis on how the leaked TPP text could enable challenges to intellectual property limitations and exceptions like the U.S. fair use doctrine).
The New York Times reported this afternoon that a Congressional agreement has been reached on so-called “fast track” authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). This international agreement, having been negotiated under extreme secrecy by 12 countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, is supposed to be an “ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. economic priorities and values.” Indeed, if it comes into effect, it will be the largest such agreement in history, covering some 800 million people. Unfortunately, its chances of meeting that laudable goal have been severely diminished by the aforementioned secrecy.
Trade Promotion Authority legislation was introduced in the House and Senate today. The full text is available here.
Trade Promotion Authority lets Congress set trade negotiating objectives for the executive branch, and in return, the legislature agrees that it will not amend any deal reached by trade negotiators. As Public Citizen notes in its press release, this “circumvent[s] ordinary congressional review, amendment and debate procedures” in order to rush the final acceptance legislation.
At the following link you will find the FCC’s NPRM for establishing a “retransmission consent” regime online for a specific class of online services called Multichannel Video Programming Distributors. It addresses all services that make multiple linear video programming streams available online on a subscription basis: