Apr 152015
 

sean - 150x150I released a statement earlier today opining that the today’s leak of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter proposed for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (available at https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter.pdf) would give new rights to private companies to challenge limitations and exceptions to copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in unaccountable international arbitration forums. This note gives further background and analysis supporting that statement. Continue reading »

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Apr 092015
 

seBriefing Paper by the Science Europe Working Group on Research Data
Editor: Christoph Bruch. (Link) (CC-BY)

The steadily-growing amount of digitally-available research data and publications enables researchers to search and analyse these sources with the help of special software. The application of such text and data (content) mining techniques (TDM) is not limited to research. In fact, most users of the internet use them on a daily basis via companies offering search engine services. The use of TDM techniques beyond those employed by search engines is already of great importance in some research fields (for example bio-genetics, linguistics) and interest in these technologies is growing rapidly. Continue reading »

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Apr 082015
 

sean - 150x150Last week I expressed my shock in seeing that the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement proposes to expand (or at least clarify) the ability of corporations to challenge intellectual property limitations and exceptions in so called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals. One source of that surprise came from my recollection of repeated meetings with USTR negotiators who assured me and others that ISDS forums were not intended to provide a means to challenge intellectual property limitations and exceptions. Continue reading »

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Apr 012015
 

harpur-suzorAuthors: Paul David Harpur and Nicolas Suzor

Abstract: This article argues that governments around the world need to take immediate coordinated action to reverse the ‘book famine’. There are over 129 million book titles in the world, but persons with print disabilities can obtain less than 7 per cent of these titles in formats that they can read. The situation is most acute in developing countries, where less than 1 per cent of books are accessible. Continue reading »

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Mar 302015
 

gibert2015-coverLast week, the Lisbon Council and Innovation Economics published The 2015 Intellectual Property and Economic Growth Index:  Measuring the Impact of Exceptions and Limitations in Copyright on Growth, Jobs and Prosperity.  The report by Benjamin Gibert examines limitations and exceptions to copyright in eight OECD countries, and then describes economic growth at the overall and industry level in those countries.

The key findings: “countries that employ a broadly ‘flexible’ regime of exceptions in copyright” have higher rates of growth of their overall economy, information technology & service sectors, and even traditional media sectors.  Workers in these economies also fared better, enjoying higher wages overall, in the communications sector, and technology sector. Continue reading »

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Mar 302015
 

butler150pxIn a recent white paper, Geoffrey Manne and Julian Morris argue that fair use is a “dangerous exception” that should not be “exported” to our trade partners through trade agreements the way other aspects of US copyright law (such as our lengthy term and protection for digital rights management) have been spread for years. Their salvo, grounded in a “law and economics” framework, is just the latest in what will surely be an ongoing series of attacks on fair use and similar flexible exceptions, a response to the growing appetite for balance in the global IP system. (Indeed, the industry-sponsored advocacy group Copyright Alliance posted its own ambivalent warning about “exporting fair use” just the other day.) Continue reading »

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Mar 262015
 

sean - 150x150I released a statement earlier today opining that the today’s leak of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter proposed for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement (available at https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter.pdf) would give new rights to private companies to challenge limitations and exceptions to copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in unaccountable international arbitration forums. This note gives further background and analysis supporting that statement. Continue reading »

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Mar 262015
 

sean at podiumToday’s leak of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter proposed for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement would give new rights to private companies to challenge limitations and exceptions to copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights in unaccountable international arbitration forums. The text contains the same provisions that are being used by Eli Lilly to challenge Canada’s invalidation of patent extensions for new uses of two medicines originally developed in the 1970s. The same language is also being used by Philip Morris to challenge Uruguay’s regulation of advertising on cigarette packages as an “expropriation” of their trademarks. But the TPP language goes farther. It includes a new footnote, not previously released as part of any other investment chapter and not included in the U.S. model investment text — clarifying that private expropriation actions can be brought to challenge “the cancellation or nullification of such [intellectual property] rights,” as well as “exceptions to such rights.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 232015
 

eifl[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)]New translations in French and Russian of ‘The Marrakesh Treaty: an EIFL Guide for Libraries’ are now available online. The new translations will help ensure that the guide is read in more EIFL partner countries, and is used by more librarians to advocate for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities. Continue reading »

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Feb 092015
 

ncube[Cross-posted from Afro-Leo, Link (CC-BY)] A report entitled ‘Copyright policy and the right to science and culture’ authored by  the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed has been released (download it here, ref A/HRC/28/57 ).

The document summary reads: “In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines copyright law and policy from the perspective of the right to science and culture, emphasizing both the need for protection of authorship and expanding opportunities for participation in cultural life. Recalling that protection of authorship differs from copyright protection, the Special Rapporteur proposes several tools to advance the human rights interests of authors. The Special Rapporteur also proposes to expand copyright exceptions and limitations to empower new creativity, enhance rewards to authors, increase educational opportunities, preserve space for non-commercial culture and promote inclusion and access to cultural works. An equally important recommendation is to promote cultural and scientific participation by encouraging the use of open licences, such as those offered by Creative Commons.” 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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Dec 142014
 

ifla-logo[International Federation of Library Associations, Link, (CC-BY)]  IFLA’s response to the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”

Access to information…Intellectual Property reform…access to open data…affordable access to ICTs. These are some of the important issues IFLA and those of us in the greater library and information community are grappling with in a variety of ways.

IFLA has been working with the international library community—as well as civil society and member states—to develop its position and help ensure that crucial elements such as access to information are included in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda. Throughout this process, it is important that libraries are seen as being part of the conversation. Continue reading »

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