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.”

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Mar 252015
 

unitaid[UNITAID Press Release, Link]   UNITAID is concerned about the expiry of the ‘pharmaceuticals exemption’ for least-developed countries (LDCs) which originates from the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.  Due to this exemption, least developed countries (LDCs) are not obliged to grant or enforce patents and data protection for pharmaceuticals. 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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Mar 182015
 

ifla-logo[Joint statement by 15 civil society groups, Link, (CC-BY)] On Wednesday, 11th March 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights presents a report to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding copyright policy in the context of cultural rights. The international library and archive community welcomes the report that examines copyright from a critical but often neglected perspective: the human dimension.

Click here for the full statement (PDF).

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Mar 162015
 

ncube[Excerpt from op-ed in the Pretoria News] Tomorrow will see the launch of the 2015 South African Library Week with the theme connect @ your library.  The value of reading for people of all ages is indisputable, as is the crucial role libraries play in making books available.  But, as we prepare to celebrate the value of books and the role of libraries, let’s spare a thought for those who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled (VIPs). There is general agreement that books are limited and expensive for sighted people, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged. Imagine how much more so they are for VIPs.  The World Blind Union rightly says that they experience a book famine.

Click here for the full op-ed (PDF).

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Mar 102015
 

BrookBakerThe NGO delegation to the Board of UNITAID offers its strong support for the proposal of WTO least developed country Members to extend the transition period for enforcing protections for pharmaceutical related patents and clinical data “for as long as the WTO member remains a least developed country.”  The proposal, IP/C/W/605, was offered by Bangladesh on behalf of LDCs at the 24-25 February 2015 meeting of the WTO TRIPS Council and will be taken forward at its next 1 June 2015 meeting.

In addition to seeking an unconditional extension of the current pharmaceutical transition period set to expire on 1 January 2016, the LDCs also seek a waiver from the General Council with respect to two additional transition measures, namely mailbox and exclusive marketing rights provisions under Articles 70(8) and 70(9) of the TRIPS Agreement. Continue reading »

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Mar 092015
 

Fostering freedom online: the role of Internet intermediaries; U[UNESCO press release, Link]  “Fostering Freedom Online: the Role of Internet Intermediaries” is the title of a new title in the UNESCO Internet freedom series. With the rise of Internet intermediaries that play a mediating role on the internet between authors of content and audiences, UNESCO took a joint initiative, with the Open Society Foundations, the Internet Society, and Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, to examine this recent historical phenomenon and how it impacts on freedom of expression and associated fundamental rights such as privacy.

The case study research, collaboratively delivered by 16 international researchers led by Ms Rebecca MacKinnon and Mr Allon Bar, as well as 14 members of International Advisory Committee, covers of three categories of intermediaries: Continue reading »

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Feb 252015
 

BrookBakerLDCs Members have submitted a duly motivated request for an unconditional extension of the 2002-2016 pharmaceutical transition period (covering patents and data) and for relief from the requirements of TRIPS Article 70.8 and 70.9 (mailbox and marketing exclusivity provisions).  This expert analysis confirm LDCs’ need and entitlement to the requested extension.​

Professor Brook K. Baker[1]
Full Text (PDF) Continue reading »

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Feb 162015
 

HCV report cover[Mike Isbell, Renée Ridzon, and Karin Timmermans, UNITAID/WHO , Link ] Executive summary: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global health problem. With 80−150 million people worldwide chronically infected with the virus, the prevalence of HCV is higher than that of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Worldwide, 4−5 million people are coinfected with HIV and HCV. Each year, 500,000−700,000 people die of HCV-related liver disease, and evidence indicates that the HCV burden is increasing. While the HCV epidemic is global in scope, the HCV burden varies considerably between regions. There are six major genotypes of HCV, with genotypes 1 and 3 together accounting for more than three quarters of HCV infections. 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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The Shadow of a Treaty

 Posted by on February 9, 2015  No Responses »
Feb 092015
 

Kaminski_Margot[Reposted with permission from the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog. Link]  On December 15th, the Ninth Circuit heard en banc oral arguments in a contentious copyright case: Garcia v. Google. The core questions in the case are interesting enough: whether performer Cindy Lee Garcia can claim copyright protection for her five-second performance in the film Innocence of Muslims, and whether Google should consequently be enjoined from showing the movie. The case raises important questions about online speech, about creativity, and about the recourse available for people who allege harm stemming from online content. A number of professors, myself included, wrote and joined amicus briefs on Google’s behalf. For a great write-up of the en banc hearing, check out Cathy Gellis’s summary over on techdirt. Continue reading »

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Jan 072015
 

mali[Jeremy Phillips, Afro-IP, Link (CC-BY)] By Marrakesh Notification No. 5: Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, WIPO has announced the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Mali, on 16 December, of its instrument of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty (which won’t come into force till the required number of ratifications or accessions is reached in accordance with Article 18 of the Treaty — that’s three months after 20 eligible parties have deposited their instruments of accession or ratification).   Continue reading »

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