[Inside U.S. Trade, Link] Industry groups are calling on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to elevate Colombia to its list of most egregious intellectual property violators, claiming that Bogota’s IP regime runs afoul of commitments it made in its trade agreement with the U.S. and violates World Trade Organization obligations. In USTR’s annual Special 301 report, released in April, Colombia was listed on what is known as the “watch list,” in addition to being one of three countries selected for an out-of-cycle review. …In that report, USTR knocked Colombia for not delivering on IP commitments outlined in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and said it would monitor the implementation of the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) for policies that could “undermine innovation and IP systems.” The agency also cited online piracy, copyright enforcement and regulatory approvals for pharmaceutical products as areas to watch in 2017.
[Fundación Karisma, Link (CC-BY-SA)] El lunes 2 de octubre, la Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor citó a Karisma y a otros actores interesados para socializar la nueva versión del proyecto de ley de reforma al derecho de autor, que se presentará al Congreso para cumplir obligaciones TLC relacionadas con derecho de autor. Les dejo mis primeras impresiones sobre el texto.
[María Juliana Soto, Karisma, Link (CC-BY)] Karisma Foundation, a Colombian civil society organization, is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support Diego Gómez, a biologist accused of copyright infringement for sharing a scientific research online.
When he was a college student at Universidad del Quindío, Diego uploaded a thesis from a colleague at Universidad Nacional de Colombia on the document platform Scribd (citing the author’s name). He also shared it with several of his peers in social media.
[Fundación Karisma, Link (CC-BY-SA)] Hoy, después de más de tres años de iniciado el proceso penal, el Juzgado 49 Penal del Circuito dictó sentido del fallo a favor del biólogo Diego Gómez, en un proceso penal que habría podido significarle de 4 a 8 años de cárcel y una multa millonaria por compartir un documento académico en línea.
El caso comenzó en 2014 cuando la fiscalía presentó cargos contra Gómez. Unos años atrás, cuando era estudiante de biología de la Universidad de Quindío en Colombia, Gómez compartió en internet una tesis de maestría de la Universidad Nacional que encontró útil para su grupo de estudio.
Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)
Diego Gómez, the Colombian student who for the last three years has been prosecuted for sharing an academic paper online, has been cleared of criminal charges. The decision was delivered today by a judge in the Bogotá Circuit Criminal Court.
In 2014 Diego was a student in conservation and wildlife management, with poor access to many of the resources and databases that would help him conduct his research. Diego found and shared a academic paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Gómez was prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to eight years in prison.
Abstract: Colombian copyright law does not expressly incorporate plagiarism as a crime. Nonetheless, Colombian courts have proclaimed plagiarism to be an act worthy of incarceration. Colombian copyright law protects moral rights of the author as human rights. In this regard, moral rights enjoy special protection that economic rights, for instance, do not have. Somewhat counter-intuitively, protecting moral rights as human rights, without set boundaries, may unbalance the copyright system and even violate other human rights, which is the case in Colombia.
We write as a group of international intellectual property academics and experts in response to the request for comments on Colombia’s recently released copyright law amendment bill, Proyecto de ley Por la cual se modifica la Ley 23 de 1982 y se adiciona la legislación nacional en materia de derecho de autor y derechos conexos.
We understand that the bill is intended to implement the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Other countries – including Singapore and Korea – have successfully used Free Trade Agreement implementing processes to adopt exceptions specifically modeled on the U.S. “fair use” exception. The general approach associated with the term “fair use” is to include an exception to copyright that is general, open and flexible, as those terms are defined below. The particulars of how such an approach may be implemented can differ from country to country. Both civil and common law systems increasingly embrace such exceptions in their law. Colombia can and should consider including one in its revision.
Technology has become essential for education. Many countries around the world have started to incorporate technology in the educational environment, thereby changing the educational process in order to give 21st-century learners the new abilities they need. Moreover, for developing countries, the use of technology in education represents an opportunity to solve salient problems of their educational systems. Nonetheless, countries have left aside the fact that copyright law governs how that technology can be effectively used in education.
[House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, Link] A group of 15 House Democrats today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman urging the Administration to clarify its position on compulsory licensing for generic medicines in Colombia.
The letter was led by Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), and also signed by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Lewis (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), David E. Price (D-NC), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Sam Farr (D-CA).
[Fundacion Karisma, Link (CC-BY-SA)] Two final hearings took place in May 2016, in the criminal proceedings that Colombian biologist Diego Gomez is facing for alleged copyright infringement.
“Whom do you hurt the most when there is no scientific information for years? The author or the country?” activist and lawyer Carolina Botero, from Karisma Foundation asked in her column “Sharing Is Not a Crime” in July 2014 when Diego’s case was made public in the media. The criminal process that began more than two years ago has continued its course, and on May the 3rd and 18th the judge heard Diego’s testimony. In August the judge will hear the concluding arguments of the prosecutor and defense.
Dear Mr. Bhanu Pratap Sharma, Chairman.
We would like to transmit to you and all assistants our best wishes for the success of this session, where governments, intergovernmental bodies and non-state actors are trying to get one step closer on mechanisms that will address the well known inefficiencies of the R&D model based on monopoly prices, inefficiencies that have caused innumerable harmful effects on people’s health and well-being.
But we need to put under your consideration, and the consideration of delegates and assistants, a special situation we are currently facing that reflects both the urgency and the interests that are preventing nations from reaching a global solution promptly.
The current Colombian copyright law appears to be a traditional copyright framework that seeks to protect authors and provides an enforcement mechanism for those rights while at the same time providing limitations and exceptions in favor of public interests according to international standards. A closer view of the law, however, reveals that Colombian copyright law favors authors’ protections and undermines public interest uses, especially in the digital environment. This regulatory framework does not favor the incorporation of technology in education.