Sep 272016

Photo: Mobile Media Mob for Treatment Action Campaign

Catherine Tomlinson, Yuan Qiong Hu, Julia Hill and Claire Waterhouse
Fix the Patent Laws Campaign

Full Text (PDF)
Executive Summary:

In this report, we present nine case studies that demonstrate how systemic shortcomings in South Africa’s patent laws negatively impact on access to medicines to treat a wide range of diseases in both the public and private sectors.

The case studies illustrate how a flawed system can allow pharmaceutical companies to prolong their monopoly periods in South Africa for years – and sometimes even decades – after their patent protections have expired in other parts of the world, to the detriment of millions of patients. Continue reading »

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Sep 232016

colombia flag - better croppingClick here for a printable PDF

We write as a group of international intellectual property academics and experts in response to the request for comments on Colombia’s recently released copyright law amendment bill, Proyecto de ley Por la cual se modifica la Ley 23 de 1982 y se adiciona la legislación nacional en materia de derecho de autor y derechos conexos.

We understand that the bill is intended to implement the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Other countries – including Singapore and Korea – have successfully used Free Trade Agreement implementing processes to adopt exceptions specifically modeled on the U.S. “fair use” exception. The general approach associated with the term “fair use” is to include an exception to copyright that is general, open and flexible, as those terms are defined below. The particulars of how such an approach may be implemented can differ from country to country. Both civil and common law systems increasingly embrace such exceptions in their law. Colombia can and should consider including one in its revision. Continue reading »

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Sep 232016

cc2Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)

Today Creative Commons, CC Colombia, and over a dozen other CC affiliates and partners sent a letter to the Colombian government calling for user-friendly copyright reform. Colombia’s copyright law is being re-opened to come into compliance with the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

We believe that this is a timely opportunity to introduce positive changes to copyright that will support users and the public, such as adopting a flexible use exception like fair use. Our community looks forward to providing ideas and feedback during the reform process. Continue reading »

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Sep 152016

flags-br-and-arJoint statement by Fundación Grupo Efecto Positivo and the ABIA Grupo de Trabalho sobre Propriedade Intelectual 

Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, September 15th, 2016 – The United Nation’s High Level Panel (UN HLP) on Access to Medicines released yesterday its final report. The Panel was mandated in November 2015 by UN’s Secretary-General Mr. Ban-Ki Moon to find solutions for the “incoherence” between human rights and public health and rules on intellectual property that hinders innovation and access to medicines. Although the recommendations of the report could have been stronger, it clearly recommends the use of pro public health safeguards to promote the human right to health. The report describes some of the challenges faced by countries to make use of those safeguards, however it fails on addressing the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies. Continue reading »

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Sep 022016

ifla-logoInternational Federation of Library Associations, Link (CC-BY)

The signing of the Treaty of Marrakesh in 2013 was a first step towards providing access to knowledge for some of the most vulnerable in society. It offers a response to the book famine that people with print disabilities have long faced. However, IFLA is concerned that when ratifying the Treaty, some countries risk introducing new barriers to access. This is completely contrary to the spirit of Marrakesh.  Continue reading »

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Copyright’s Digital/Analog Divide

 Posted by on August 30, 2016  1 Response »
Aug 302016

Matthew-Sag-PR-Photo-1-792x1024Author: Matthew Sag

Abstract: This Article shows how the substantive balance of copyright law has been overshadowed online by the system of intermediary safe harbors enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in 1998. The Internet safe harbors and the system of notice-and-takedown fundamentally changed the incentives of platforms, users, and rightsholders in relation to claims of copyright infringement. These different incentives interact to yield a functional balance of copyright online that diverges markedly from the experience of copyright law in traditional media environments. This article also explores a second divergence: the DMCA’s safe harbor system is being superseded by private agreements between rightsholders and large commercial Internet platforms made in the shadow of those safe harbors. These agreements relate to automatic copyright filtering systems, such as YouTube’s Content ID, that not only return platforms to their gatekeeping role, but encode that role in algorithms and software. Continue reading »

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Aug 242016

singaporeSingapore Ministry of Law (Link)
Consultation Period: 23 Aug 2016 to 24 Oct 2016

Copyright is a form of intellectual property right which gives creators and producers of creative works the right to control specific uses of their works for a limited period of time.

A good copyright regime balances between providing exclusive rights as an incentive to create and disseminate new creative works, and providing appropriate access to those works for the benefit of other creators and society at large. This balance encourages the creation and dissemination of knowledge and ultimately contributes to the larger drive to foster innovation. Continue reading »

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Aug 172016

google_logo_largeThe New Zealand Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has posted draft legislation to bring its law into compliance with the Trans Pacific Partnership, as well comments on the legislation, all of which are available hereThe following excerpt from the comments submitted by Google New Zealand focuses on the importance of a “flexible and dynamic” copyright exception. 

Google believes that in order to promote innovation and creativity, New Zealand should adopt copyright exceptions that allow the market, new technologies and new creativity to evolve. New Zealand needs not only technologically neutral copyright protections, but also dynamic, technology neutral exceptions that allow new, legitimate uses of copyright and services to evolve as technology evolves. Continue reading »

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Aug 162016

butler150px[Reposted from the author’s blog, here. (CC-BY)] The Copyright Office is poised to issue a total rewrite of Section 108 of the Copyright Act, which protects library and archives’ copying for preservation and research. Libraries and archives have said they do not want this, but the Office seems to be determined to do it. So, a group of Deans and Directors of Virginia university libraries has sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA!) to ensure he realizes the controversy and context that surrounds the Office’s proposed changes. If you are a concerned library or librarian, consider writing your representative, especially if they sit on the Judiciary Committee. Continue reading »

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Aug 162016

eifl[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] New EIFL resources document the recent changes in Polish copyright law that bring library services in Poland into the 21st century.  The centrepiece for libraries of the new copyright legislation are provisions that enable digitization for socially beneficial purposes, such as education and preservation of cultural heritage. Continue reading »

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Jul 192016

belgium-flag-300x205Dimitar Dimitrov, Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU, Link, (CC-BY)

Thanks to synchronised interplay between our EU-level policy initiative and the steady work of our Belgian community, a new copyright exception allowing for thousands of new images on Wikimedia projects is now in place. But how exactly did this public policy ping pong work out? Continue reading »

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Jul 182016

south africa flag[Charlie Fripp,, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] After a series of public consultations and written submissions, South Africa’s somewhat controversial Copyright Amendment Bill will be put before parliament this month. The Bill has been both praised and criticised by activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as its effects are potentially far-reaching. Minister Rob Davies in the Department of Trade and Industry made the announcement through a Government Gazette, published on 5th July. Continue reading »

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