I 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.
Today’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.”
[Cross posted from the CCUSA blog, Link (CC-BY)] In all my time with Creative Commons, I’ve come to see that support comes from people across a wide spectrum of creators. For some, the Creative Commons licenses and their related icons provide the vocabulary and the solidarity around the sharing that they would engage in over the Internet even if the licenses did not exist. For others, the licenses are needed to free users from copyright constraints that would otherwise inhibit or prohibit uses that the creator wants to promote.
Updated on April 3, 2013, to include Liberia.
More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws. These countries are in all regions of the world and at all levels of development. The broad diffusion of fair use and fair dealing indicates that there is no basis for preventing the more widespread adoption of these doctrines, with the benefits their flexibility brings to authors, publishers, consumers, technology companies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, and governments.
[Yale Global Health Partnership press release] Just last week, worldwide leaders came together in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Health Organization to begin to develop a five-year strategy to combat Hepatitis C. The disease, which affects 185 million people worldwide – five times as many people as HIV, predominantly in low-and middle-income countries – has been called a silent epidemic. Now, a new report by Yale’s Global Health Partnership (GHJP), the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) warns that global efforts to extend treatment to millions is in peril unless key obstacles to access are confronted immediately… strategies used with other diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, to extend treatments to millions who need it has largely depended on getting less expensive, generic versions of these drugs on the market, by pressuring companies to allow other manufacturers to produce their drugs.
Urs Gasser and Wolfgang Schulz
Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-5
February 2015 | Full Text (SSRN)
A review of online intermediary governance frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam creates a picture full of nuance, whether looking at the genesis of intermediary frameworks, the reasons for intervention, or the specifics of the respective governance models, including strategies, institutions, modalities, and the effects of regulation, among other dimensions. The country case studies both highlight and illustrate the importance of cultural and political context, which is not only reflected in the respective legal norms aimed at regulating intermediaries, but also expressed through different views and perceptions regarding the social function of intermediaries. In some sense, the case studies and the way in which the authors tell the story themselves mirror the same context and diversity. Similarly, the importance of the socioeconomic context has become clearly visible. Many of the features of various intermediary governance models can hardly be understood without considering their economic context, in conjunction with demographic characteristics and shifts.
[Reposted from the Medicines Patent Pool, Link, (CC-BY-NC-ND)] The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced a licence today with MSD, known as Merck in the United States and Canada, for paediatric formulations of raltegravir, a key medicine approved for children living with HIV four weeks of age and older. With the new licence, generic manufacturers and other companies based anywhere in the world can develop, manufacture and sell low cost, paediatric versions of raltegravir in countries with the highest burden of disease, where 98 percent of children with HIV in the developing world live.
[Reposted from thehaguedeclaration.com] The Hague Declaration is currently in draft form. The draft contains a list of basic principles. We welcome your comments on the text below. Please share your thoughts up until February 13th via the comment form on this page or on the discussion platform Discuto. Note, this document is far from final and after a further drafting process with the Declaration working group the definitive version will be released in April.
As recognised in the G8 Open Data Charter, new technologies are revolutionising the way humans can learn about the world and about themselves.
[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.”
[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.
[Updated Jan 5] The U.S. International Trade Commission has released its report on Indian trade, investment and industrial policies, including but not limited to intellectual property rights. The full report is here and the the press release is here.
The report was based on “a survey of U.S. companies doing business in India; a quantitative analysis of the effects on the U.S. economy; and qualitative research, including a hearing and fieldwork, to produce case studies and examples that help illustrate effects of the policies on particular companies or industries.”
[Lawyers Collective press release, Link] In a momentous decision that would have wide-ranging implication for access to medicines, the Supreme Court of India refused to entertain Bayer’s appeal to set aside the compulsory license (CL) on Sorafenib (Nexavar). The Supreme Court’s dismissal of Bayer’s Special Leave Petition against the Bombay High Court’s decision upholding of the CL concludes the legal proceedings on the first ever CL issued in India.