Apr 242015
 

WCL logo white on blueThe 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.

PIJIP Table comparing TPA Legislation from 2002, 2014, 2015.

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Apr 232015
 

openmediaCanada Is Walking Into a Copyright Trap Warn Advocates

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. Continue reading »

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Apr 212015
 

sean - 150x150[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). Continue reading »

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Apr 162015
 

OCTOBER 11, 2010 - Law professor David Levine. (Photo by Kim Walker)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. Continue reading »

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Apr 162015
 
Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

Photo by C.E. Kent (CC-BY)

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. Continue reading »

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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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