[Prepared by Kenneth Crews for the 29th Session of the SCCR, Link] INTRODUCTION: A study of copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization and delivered in 2008, provided a foundation for the subsequent consideration and evaluation of the issues by delegates from the WIPO member states. The original study was conducted by Dr. Kenneth D. Crews on behalf of WIPO, and he was again commissioned to be the principal investigator for the present 2014 report. This report offers a significant update and expansion of the 2008 study. First, the combined 2008 and 2014 studies offer analysis of the copyright laws from all but one of the WIPO member countries. Second, this 2014 project identifies countries that have revised their relevant statutes since completion of the 2008 report. These statutory revisions confirm an ongoing need for legal change and reveal specifically the relevant copyright issues on which lawmakers in diverse countries have taken legislative attention.
The following is an excerpt from Pacific Trade & Human Rights, a joint report by the World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Development Programme. The lead authors are Lloyd Lipsett, Miranda Forsyth, Selim Raihan, and Wesley Morgan.
This case study on Vanuatu highlights the human rights dimension of the connection between trade agreements, intellectual property rights (IPR) and traditional knowledge (TK) in Pacific Island Countries. IPR are linked to the enjoyment of a range of economic, social and cultural rights, the rights to health, education, and food in particular.  However, it is often very challenging to get a comprehensive understanding of the exact nature of the relationship between IPR and human rights in a particular country or region, as local contexts have a profound effect on their inter-relationship.
El Salvador has become the second country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Minister of Economy Tharsis Solomon López submitted the notification on October 1.
So far, the only other country to ratify the treaty has been India, which ratified it on June 30.
[Reposted from TWN News, Link] Member States at the recently concluded 46th General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted a “no decision” outcome when consensus failed on four key issues.
This occurred on past midnight of the last day of the session that was held from 22 to 30 September 2014.
Despite intensive informal consultations over several days and evening some nights, the WIPO General Assembly concluded at 12.30 am without any decision on four areas viz. the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (Agenda item 16), Design Law Treaty (Agenda Item 15), the Standing Committee on Copyrights (Agenda item 14), and Matters Concerning External Offices and the establishment of WIPO External Offices (Agenda item 12).
[Joint press release, Link] The World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) will hold a technical symposium on “Innovation and access to medical technologies: challenges and opportunities for middle income countries” on 5 November 2014 at the WTO in Geneva.
The symposium will held at the WTO, Centre William Rappard, rue de Lausanne 154, Geneva in Room CR
A background note, draft programme and online registration are available here (English only). Registration is available until 3 November 2014, 12 noon Geneva time, and is mandatory.
Excerpt from the 2014 Trade and Development Report: Global Governance and Policy Space for Development, published yesterday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. From pages 80 to 86:
Successful development experiences have generally been associated with structural transformation. This section examines the constraints faced by developing countries in adopting the trade and investment policies they deem to be the most suitable for structural transformation. In particular, it focuses on the multiplicity of trade agreements (multilateral, bilateral and regional) and how they restrict national policy space.
Last week, 23 civil society groups released the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms at the Internet Governance Forum. The Declaration was drafted by a committee led by Edetean Ojo , Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, which announced the Declaration as “a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and principles of openness in internet policy formulation and implementation on the continent. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the internet, and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.”
We, the undersigned organizations, bring to the attention of Drug Regulatory Authorities, WHO, Member States and other participants of Pre and International Conference on Drug Regulatory Authorities (Pre-ICDRA and ICDRA) and community in general the following concerns with regard to the regulation of biotherapeutic products, particularly biocompetitors, and its impact on access to affordable, safe and efficacious biotherapeutics.
[Lotti Rutter, Treatment Action Campaign, Link (CC-BY)] In 2011, the UN and member states set a goal of reaching 15 million people on AIDS treatment by 2015—a goal many questioned but that will be met next year. Since then, evidence and tools available have changed and it is clear that simply tracking testing and treatment is not good enough. Critically, it is now clear that suppressing the HIV virus with high-quality HIV drugs keeps people living with HIV alive and healthy while also preventing HIV transmission.
[MPP Press Release, Link (CC-BY-NC-ND)] Geneva – 17 July 2014. Three days before the start of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced seven new sub-licensing agreements for the manufacture of generic HIV medicines, atazanavir (ATV) and dolutegravir (DTG). The United Nations-backed MPP negotiates licences with key patent holders to speed access of low-cost, generic medicines to developing countries. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with Bristol Myers-Squibb, Gilead Sciences, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, the US National Institutes of Health and ViiV Healthcare for eight antiretrovirals (ARVs) and one medicine for an HIV opportunistic infection.
[International Federation of Library Associations, Link (CC-BY)] Discussions regarding an international copyright instrument for libraries and archives again collapsed inconclusively at the 28th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR) in Geneva, from Monday 30 June – Friday 4 July. In the early hours of Saturday 5 July, Member States finally “agreed to disagree” on any conclusions on copyright exceptions for libraries and archives, as well as a draft treaty for broadcasting.
[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] The 28th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) – the main body that shapes international copyright law – failed to reach agreement on the conclusions of its session for the second time this year. It also couldn’t agree during the late evening session on the all-important recommendations to WIPO’s General Assemblies that meet in September.
EIFL was represented at SCCR/28 that met in Geneva from 30 June – 4 July 2014 by Inta Miklūna, EIFL-IP coordinator in Latvia, and the Legal Advisor at the Culture Information Systems Centre. Following the breakdown of the last session in April, libraries and archives were hopeful that member states could resolve their political differences so that the work of the Committee can move forward. But it wasn’t to be.