Dec 152014
 

lawyerscollective2[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. Continue reading »

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Nov 252014
 

sotc2[Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] At its heart, Creative Commons is a simple idea. It’s the idea that when people share their creativity and knowledge with each other, amazing things can happen.

It’s not a new idea. People have been adapting and building on each other’s work for centuries. Musicians sample beats from each other’s music. Artists create entirely new works from other people’s images. Teachers borrow each other’s activities and lesson plans. Scientists build off of each other’s results to make new discoveries. Continue reading »

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Sep 052014
 

ecuador flagIssues New Compulsory Licenses; Signs Harmful Trade Agreement with the EU

[Luz Marina Umbasia and Peter Maybarduk, Link to PDF]  In July, Ecuador issued four compulsory licenses for medicines targeting cancer and arthritis treatment and immunological reception to kidney transplant.[1] These licenses authorize cost-cutting generic competition with patented medicines, in exchange for royalty payments to the patent holders. Compulsory licensing is a crucial tool to expand access to medicines that are prohibitively expensive or whose costs place enormous burdens on budgets for health systems.[2] Ecuador has again demonstrated international leadership by exercising its health rights. Continue reading »

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Jul 242014
 

cc[Cross posted from CCUSA, Link (CC-BY)]  Today, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants. 

The full letter is available here.  An excerpt follows: Continue reading »

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Jul 212014
 

tac-logo[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. Continue reading »

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Jul 172014
 

euro open edu policy project logo[Cross posted from the European Open Edu Policy Project, Link (CC-BY)]  It is well known that the rules that allow for certain educational uses of copyrighted works under certain conditions without permission of the rights’ owners vary greatly between countries. But how different are those rules? And how difficult is to access those differences? Can a teacher with no legal background determine alone whether a certain use is allowed or not in his/her country? Continue reading »

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Jul 152014
 
Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

Photo by Ito (CC-BY-2.0)

[Cross posted from Creative Commons-USA, Link, (CC-BY)]  Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Nadler, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Michael Carroll, and I am a member of the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, where I direct the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and serve as the Public Lead for Creative Commons USA.  Creative Commons USA is the United States’ project that works under the terms of an agreement with Creative Commons, Inc., a global non-profit corporation headquartered in California.  Creative Commons has agreements with projects in more than 70 countries through which the local project is authorized to represent Creative Commons at the national level.  Creative Commons and Creative Commons USA have some experiences and legal tools that are relevant to the topics of today’s hearing.  Continue reading »

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May 192014
 

opn[Timothy Vollmer, Open Policy Network, Link, (CC-BY)]  Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the Open Policy Network. The Open Policy Network, or OPN for short, is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to support the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies that require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. The website of the Open Policy Network is http://openpolicynetwork.org Continue reading »

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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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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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