Mar 232015

fcc-logo_white-on-blackSeth Johnson

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: Continue reading »

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Mar 102015

jbandBoth political parties have begun to focus greater attention on the growing income inequality in the United States. While there probably are many factors contributing to the inequality, one factor has received relatively little attention: the nature of the U.S. political system encourages increasingly complex regulatory frameworks, which benefit those with more resources to navigate those frameworks. As the frameworks get more complex, the advantage of those with resources increases. Continue reading »

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Mar 102015

apcExecutive Summary: South Africans should be able to make fair use of copyright materials. Fair use is important for technological innovation, reverse engineering, education and access to knowledge. Contracts and anti-circumvention rules should not be allowed to prevent South Africans from making fair use of copyright materials. South Africans should be able to bulk import copyright works including textbooks legitimately purchased outside South Africa. Continue reading »

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Mar 092015

colombia flag - better croppingLuisa Fernanda Guzmán Mejía (@lfdagm)
Digital Rights LAC, Link (CC-BY-SA)

Since its enactment, theLaw No. 1680 of 2013 has been crucial for the recognition, respect and safeguard to the rights of the blind and low vision. Thanks to this Act, now they have free reading tools (such as Jaws screen reader software and Magic screen magnifier software), which enable autonomous and independent exercise of their rights. This standard has also made possible the substantial reduction of legal barriers responsible for thedeficient supply of works in accessible formats already published, as it establishes an exception and limitation to copyright (art. 12).

Despite the importance of the Act for the effective inclusion and full participation for people who are blind and low vision in all aspects of life, it has been questioned before the Constitutional Court Continue reading »

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Mar 032015

South African FlagWe write in response to your request for public comments on South Africa’s planned copyright legislation reform. We are copyright scholars and experts from around the world who are interested in South Africa’s law reform process. Our interest arises both because of the leadership position of South Africa on the global stage and because we desire to be consumers of the products of culture and innovation that will be enabled by a properly balanced copyright system in your country.

We write to urge South Africa to join and lead the emerging consensus among rapidly developing countries that inclusion of a generally applicable “flexible” copyright exception is a necessary component of modern copyright reform.

Click here for the full letter (PDF).

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Feb 262015

gasser-and-schultzUrs Gasser and Wolfgang Schulz
Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-5
February 2015 | Full Text (SSRN)

A. Summary

A review of online intermediary governance frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam creates a picture full of nuance, whether looking at the genesis of intermediary frameworks, the reasons for intervention, or the specifics of the respective governance models, including strategies, institutions, modalities, and the effects of regulation, among other dimensions. The country case studies both highlight and illustrate the importance of cultural and political context, which is not only reflected in the respective legal norms aimed at regulating intermediaries, but also expressed through different views and perceptions regarding the social function of intermediaries. In some sense, the case studies and the way in which the authors tell the story themselves mirror the same context and diversity. Similarly, the importance of the socioeconomic context has become clearly visible. Many of the features of various intermediary governance models can hardly be understood without considering their economic context, in conjunction with demographic characteristics and shifts. Continue reading »

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Feb 232015

mexico-flagMexico’s PRI has introduced legislation, dubbed “Ley SOPITA” by some observers, that aims to “stop or prevent, in the digital environment, the commission infringements of intellectual property rights.”  It would give the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property the ability to inspect business, collect data, and make interim orders that aim to stop infringement.

A news story in El Economista quotes the  Red Collective in Defense of Digital Rights R3DMX: “The Parliamentary Group of the PRI in the House of Representatives intends … to empower the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI ) to order censorship of content, and even entire Internet sites, under the pretext of protecting copyright.” [Google-translated quote]

The full El Economista story is available here.

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Feb 022015

sean - 150x150On Friday, I joined law professors Srividhya Ragavan of University of Oklahoma and Brook Baker of Northeastern University Brook Baker in comments to the Indian government on its recently released “Draft Intellectual Property Policy.” Our overarching comment is that the proposed policy makes a categorical and critical mistake of promoting intellectual property as an end in itself rather than as a means for achieving social and economic progress through enhanced production of and access to the fruits of creativity and innovation. The heart of the comment states: Continue reading »

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Jan 282015

india-flagFor further information, contact:

Anand Grover:
Dinesh Abrol:

Following Prime Minister Modi’s statement at the US-India Business Council yesterday that “India is ready to accept suggestions made by a joint working group with the United States on intellectual property rights,” patient and civil society groups have responded: Continue reading »

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Jan 202015

cis india[Rishika for the Centre for Internet and Society, Link (CC-BY)]  In the year 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conducted a study on different national approaches to copyright exception for persons with disabilities. Over 60 countries have an exception in their Copyright laws permitting conversion of works into accessible formats for the benefit of persons who cannot read print. The scope of the exception varies, in terms of the beneficiaries covered, formats permitted, restrictions on who can convert, etc. Continue reading »

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Jan 042015

redpatodos[Nathalie Espitia, Red Pa Todos, Link (CC-BY)]  Como ya les habíamos contado, en nuestra entrada sobre el “Foro de Gobernanza de Internet” y “Un repaso sobre  la Ley Lleras” hemos estado trabajando en un documento a partir de la revisión de algunas iniciativas internacionales sobre leyes relacionadas con la responsabilidad de los intermediarios y que apuntan a una línea garantista de los derechos de los usuarios y usuarias, además hemos pensando en estrategias para que participemos en el debate. Continue reading »

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Dec 012014

india-flag[Lawyers Collective, India]  As you know, transnational pharmaceutical companies and the US Government are putting pressure on the Indian Government to change India’s IP laws especially the Indian Patents Act, which will make medicines unaffordable to millions of people in India and other developing countries.

Peoples’ groups, patients’ networks and civil society organizations have come together in one voice to ask the US government to stop pressuring India against use of its legitimate rights to protect public health. The petition asks the US Government to stop pressuring India. The petition also urges the Indian Government to hold its ground and not give in to the pressure. Continue reading »

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