Apr 172014

peru flagPharmaceutical companies’ abuse of monopolistic position results in million-dollar overspending in public purchases.

[Javier Llamoza and Ana Romero] Atazanavir is an antiretroviral, second-line medicine that is used to treat people living with HIV.   In Peru, this drug is patented by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), ensuring exclusivity and a high price for the same in the national market.  A related result of this situation is that Peru’s public health sector overspends approximately US$ 7.5 million annually, as the present patent on Atazanavir does not allow for the purchase of the generic product.   In contrast, the generic version of this medicine is available in Bolivia, for example, and costs that country US$ 0.50 per 300mg tablet, while in  Peru, an average of  US$ 12.85 is paid for the original brand name (Reyataz tab 300mg ),  24 times more for the same product. Continue reading »

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Apr 032014

sean at podium30 international intellectual property law professors from around the world filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today in ABC v. Aereo. Aereo is being accused of being directly liable for copyright infringement by supplying equipment for a remote DVR service that allows consumers to record and play back free-to-air television programming. The brief responds to arguments made by IFPI et al and some other amici supporting ABC that international copyright law — including the Berne Convention, WIPO Copyright Treaty and several Free Trade Agreements — control the case. This brief argues that international law is not controlling, but rather leaves countries free to hold that Aereo’s equipment only facilitates private copying by consumers. Continue reading »

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Mar 272014

eifl[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link, CC-BY)] Libraries in EIFL partner countries perform a vital role getting reading and other materials into the hands of people who need information and knowledge for education, research, health or leisure. The seven point plan submitted by EIFL in response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules highlights some issues that libraries want to see addressed.

“Librarians want to do their work effectively, efficiently and of course, legally,” said Teresa Hackett, EIFL-IP Programme Manager. “But sometimes, it seems as if the weight of the system is against this.”

Here are some of the things librarians in EIFL-partner countries told us for the European Commission consultation: Continue reading »

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Mar 202014

arton89Pr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, HepCoalition, Link

185 million people across the world are infected with HCV; 150 million are chronically infected. The HCV pandemic is concentrated in middle-income countries (MICs); while 15% of the 150 million people with chronic HCV live in high-income countries (HICs), 72% live in MICs and 13% in low-income countries (LICs). It is estimated that HCV-related liver complications kill 350,000 people annually. Currently, the standard of care is injectable peg-interferon (PEG-IFN) used in combination with ribavirin (RBV). The cure rate is 50-75%, and the treatment is associated with strong side effects. Worldwide, only a tiny percentage of people with HCV have access to treatment. Continue reading »

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Mar 192014

flag-russiaLinar Khalitov, Wikimedia Russia, Link (CC-BY)

On March 12, 2014, the Federal Law that introduced changes to the prime source of Russian civil law, the Civil Code, was signed. This sign-off brought to life many amendments that Russian members of Wikipedia have been eager to see for a long time. Continue reading »

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Mar 142014
Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Leaders in the Obama Administration, in state governments, and in corporate America have acknowledged the urgency of increasing access to higher education in the United States – particularly through community colleges.  These leaders also recognize the importance of improving completion rates and educational outcomes for those who enroll.

As we come to the close of Open Education Week, it is now time for these leaders to focus attention, energy and resources on the most immediate opportunity to make progress toward these goals while also freeing up billions of dollars that can be redirected toward this progress.  Make textbooks available to students for free or at very low marginal cost. Continue reading »

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Mar 112014

botero[Reposted from Creative Commons Affiliates Blog, Link (CC-BY)]On Thursday, March 14 Fundación Karisma, in collaboration with UNESCO and Creative Commons will launch the report “Public Expenditure On Education in Latin America: Can It Serve the Paris Open Educational Resources Declaration’s Purposes?”

“Human rights are not left at the door when we enter the online world.” This is the premise on which we embark on a new research project related to one of the fundamental rights under threat in a networked society: access to knowledge. Continue reading »

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Mar 102014

oew2014_banner[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition organized a Congressional briefing on Open Educational Resources (OER) for Open Education Week. One speaker, Daniel DeMarte, described the experience that Tidewater Community College has had in rolling out it’s “Z-Degree” – an associate degree in business administration that uses a curriculum composed of entirely of OER. Continue reading »

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Mar 032014

logo_CC_OER_EU1[CC European Open Education Policy Project, Link, (CC-BY)] On the 18th of February, Creative Commons organized a debate on „Really Open Education. Domestic Policies for Open Educational Resources”, hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP. The meeting brought together almost 40 experts and stakeholders from a range of educational projects, national schooling systems, and national and international non-governmental organizations across Europe. Continue reading »

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Feb 132014

alrc cover[Official Release, Link]  The ALRC was asked to consider whether the current exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act are adequate and appropriate in the digital era.

The Report, tabled on 13 February 2014, is the result of an 18-month Inquiry during which the ALRC produced two consultation documents, undertook 109 consultations and received 870 submissions.

The Report contains 30 recommendations for reform. The key recommendation is for the introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law.

Full Report | Summary Report

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Feb 032014

durbin-frankenTextbook costs are often substantial for stunts and can be a barrier to attaining a college education. According to the college Board, the average student spent $1,200 on college books and supplies during the 2012-13 academic year.  The price of new textbooks has increased 82% over the last decade according to GAO, and yet, textbook costs are one of the most overlooked impediments to college affordability and access.

The Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704) would address this problem by providing grants to colleges and universities to create and expand the use of open textbooks.

Click here for the full letter.

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Jan 312014

FairUseIssuesReportA new report by PIJIP Professor Peter Jaszi, AU Communications Professor Patricia Aufderheide, and AU fellows Bryan Bello and Tijana Milosevic.

The College Art Association has commenced a project with American University Professors Jaszi and Aufderheide to develop a Codes of Best Practice in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing inthe Visual Arts.  The first phase of the project was to conduct “interviews with one hundred visual arts professionals and a survey of CAA members” and produce a report on “current practices and attitudes among visual arts practitioners (including artists, scholars, editors, and curators) regarding copyright and fair use.”  The full report is available here. Continue reading »

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