Feb 062012

The BBC reports that there are over 100 protests scheduled against the Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) this week, including coordinated actions on Saturday, February 11.

To date, over 1.75 million people have signed a petition – ACTA: The New Threat to the Net – on avaaz.org urging EU Members not to ratify ACTA.

These developments follow a series of recent anti-ACTA street protests an online actions that  appear to have begun chaning the minds of European leaders. Continue reading »


Inside U.S. Trade – Peru Minister Rejects U.S. IPR Proposal In TPP

 Posted by on December 19, 2011  Comments Off on Inside U.S. Trade – Peru Minister Rejects U.S. IPR Proposal In TPP
Dec 192011

Inside U.S. Trade reports that Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Jose Luis Silva rejects the U.S. proposal for intellectual property, saying “Peru does not want to go farther than what it has agreed in the area of intellectual property … in the free trade agreement with the United States… the United States is making a proposal to favor its companies, and the rest of the countries have the right to say ‘no’ because it harms the interests of their citizens.”   He said that the Peruvian position involves greater protection of traditional knowledge and genetic resources, and that most of the other countries negotiating the TPP are closer to Peru’s postion than the American one. Click here for the full story on insideustrade.com


WTO Members Asked to Consider Extension of TRIPS Deadline for Least Developed Countries

 Posted by on November 18, 2011  Comments Off on WTO Members Asked to Consider Extension of TRIPS Deadline for Least Developed Countries
Nov 182011

The World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Council will ask Member states to consider a request from Least Developed Countries for an extension of the deadline for their compliance with the TRIPS Agreement. IP Watch reports that Bangladesh presented the TRIPS Council with the request, which recognizes that “Least Developed Country Members continue to face serious economic, financial and administrative constraints in their efforts to bring their domestic legal system into conformity with the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement.”  Continue reading »


US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel’s Comments at the World Copyright Summit

 Posted by on June 13, 2011  Comments Off on US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel’s Comments at the World Copyright Summit
Jun 132011

Last week, “IP Czar” Victoria Espinel was featured as a keynote speaker at the World Copyright Summit, organized by the International  Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers.  The Wall Street Journal and Tech Dirt report that she described an expanding the role of internet service providers in IP Enforcement.  She stressed a preference for  voluntary participation by ISPs, rather than more “inappropriate regulations,” and noted that the government is talking to Google about what they can do on a voluntary basis.  She said one option for cutting down on piracy is to “make sure that illegal streaming–a form of ‘distribution’ online–is a felony, in the same way that more traditional forms of distribution are.”

Ms. Espinel also discussed the growing role of cloud-based services, suggesting that the new technologies might give consumers alternatives to illegally downloading content.  She reaffirmed that the U.S. government is committed to taking down “rogue” sites, and described domain name seizures carried out under Operation In Our Sites.  Continue reading »

May 232011

DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized more domain names of websites offering unauthorized access to copyrighted material in the fourth round Operation In Our Sites.  TorrentFreak has been tracking the takedowns, and it reports that “Among the new targets are two sites that linked to copyrighted films hosted on third party streaming sites.”

For more information, see


May 062011

VPR International, a Canadian content producer, has filed a complaint against 1,017 Doe defendants for distributing its copyrighted material online.  The Doe defendants are identified only by their IP addresses, so VPR sought an order from the court allowing it to subpoena their internet service providers for the “subscriber and location associated with each IP address.”  U.S. District Judge Harold Baker denied this, noting that “an IP address might actually identify an individual subscriber and address, [but] the correlation is far from perfect… The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber’s household, a visitor with her laptop, or someone parked on the street at any given moment.” Continue reading »


CBS and CNET Sued for Distributing LimeWire

 Posted by on May 5, 2011  Comments Off on CBS and CNET Sued for Distributing LimeWire
May 052011

A group of musicians led by Alki David, founder of the streaming service FilmOn.com, has sued CNET and its parent company, CBS Interactive, for distributing LimeWire and other peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems.  The lawsuit, filed May 3, claims that “The CBS defendants have been the main distributor of LimeWire software and have promoted this and other P2P systems in order to directly profit from wide-scale copyright infringement.  Internet users have downloaded more than 220 million copies of LimeWire software from the CBS defendants’ website, found at download.com since 2008.  This consisted 95 percent or more of all copies of LimeWire that were downloaded until LimeWire was shut down by Court Order.”

The lawsuit also describes how CBS monetized the the distribution of free P2P software and how CNET featured instructional articles that helped internet users infringe copyrights.  Continue reading »

May 022011

Inside U.S. Trade reports that USTR intends to table a full intellectual property chapter for the TPP by mid June, and that the pharmaceutical industry has been lobbying to reverse the policy deal struck by the Bush Administration and Congressional Democrats on May 10, 2007.  The leaked intellectual property text that has circulated leaves out the controversial provisions covered by the agreement: data exclusivity, patent extensions, and linkage between patent offices and health regulators.  The pharmaceutical industry wants USTR to use the Korea-US FTA language as a template for these provisions in the TPP, while health advocates want the May 10, 2007 Agreement to serve as a starting point for increasing countries’ flexibility in accessing generic medicines.

Apr 182011

Anil Varghese, Director of the Original Software Initiative, Microsoft India was recently interviewed for the Indian News outfit COIL.  He told the interviewer that “software piracy rates in India have declined from 74 per cent to 65 per cent in the last seven years,” but “global losses from piracy and counterfeiting account for approximately $1 trillion.”

When asked to share key findings from the MS India survey, he said, “consumers know the difference between genuine and counterfeit software; and that genuine software performs better; consumers are four times more likely to recommend genuine than counterfeit software; consumers think there are risks with using counterfeit software, and 50 per cent of them even don’t believe in counterfeit software. The findings also revealed that, 79 per cent consumers agree that they need ways to protect themselves from inadvertently buying counterfeit software. Moreover, 82 per cent think that software companies should do more to stop their products from being counterfeited while 76 per cent consumers believe that government should do more to reduce the amount of counterfeit software.” Continue reading »

Apr 142011

The European internet service provider Scarelet Extended has appealed a court order that it block the file sharing of copyrighted music. In this context, the EU Advocate General Cruz Villalón has advised: “the Court of Justice should declare that EU law precludes a national court from making an order, on the basis of the Belgian statutory provision, requiring an internet service provider to install, in respect of all its customers, in abstracto and as a preventive measure, entirely at the expense of the internet service provider and for an unlimited period, a system for filtering all electronic communications passing via its services (in particular, those involving the use of peer-to-peer software) in order to identify on its network the sharing of electronic files containing a musical, cinematographic or audio-visual work in respect of which a third party claims rights, and subsequently to block the transfer of such files, either at the point at which they are requested or at the point at which they are sent.” Continue reading »


NEW LEGAL REVIEW: how a global IP enforcement scheme has withered behind closed doors

 Posted by on April 1, 2011  Comments Off on NEW LEGAL REVIEW: how a global IP enforcement scheme has withered behind closed doors
Apr 012011

Michael Blakeney
April 1, 2011
Original: http://goo.gl/tZhwt

The annual $US 60 billion trade in counterfeit and pirate products was the principal catalyst of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and its IP rights enforcement regime. However, 10 years later, this trade had grown tenfold, despite TRIPS.

A select group of mainly industrialised countries, convened by the US, Japan and the EU, perceived that the panacea for dealing with this burgeoning illegal trade was to supplement TRIPS with even more IP rights enforcement and they agreed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the final text of which was released on 10 December 2010. Continue reading »


Judge denies copyright owners’ request for multiple damages per song downloaded from LimeWire

 Posted by on March 30, 2011  Comments Off on Judge denies copyright owners’ request for multiple damages per song downloaded from LimeWire
Mar 302011

Record companies have won a summary judgment against the file sharing site Lime Wire for secondary copyright infringement, and they have sought multiple damages per song for each of the 11,000 songs downloaded from the site. Their requested multiple damages have been denied by Judge Kimba Wood, whose opinion states:  “The Court agrees that allowing Plaintiffs to recover multiple awards per work based on the numbers of direct infringers is untenable. The Court thus finds that Plaintiffs are entitled to a single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed, regardless of how many individual users directly infringed that particular work.” Continue reading »