Nov 202017

At the latest meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, there was new movement on copyright limitations and exceptions.

Argentina and Brazil tabled language that adds more specificity to the limitations and exceptions that may be offered to the new exclusive rights of broadcasters that the proposed Broadcast Treaty would require. But the proposal fails to follow the most recent best practices in international law by requiring exceptions, protecting fair use and safeguarding the digital environment. Continue reading »

Nov 142017

Today, PIJIP released new research on the impact of copyright balance. The release was announced at the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. The research finds that balanced copyright policies in other countries have had positive effects on net income, total sales, and value-added by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms. More generally, it finds that increases in PIJIP’s “openness score” are associated with higher revenues in the information sector, without harming traditional copyright-intensive industries.

This builds on previous research that has illustrated the benefits of fair use in the U.S., where fair use industries represent 16% of annual GDP and employ 18 million American workers. One study found that the U.S. would lose 425,000 jobs and $44 billion in GDP each year without strong safe harbors. Continue reading »

Nov 132017

Tuesday, November 14, 13:00 Luncheon; 13:20 Panel Discussion
@World Intellectual Property Organization, Room A, AB Building
Sponsored by: The Brazilian Delegation to WIPO,
and the American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Background and Purpose

There is an increasing recognition in both domestic and international copyright reform debates that all creators and users in all countries benefit from copyright systems that are balanced with both author and user rights. A key balancing feature of modern copyright law is sufficient flexibility to accommodate the shifting technologies and practices of the digital age. This is particularly true in the field of education, where the evolution of digital technologies has made distribution of educational materials more cost effective, and raised concerns in some sectors about market erosion. This panel discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities that digital technologies pose for copyright and educational materials distribution and what the best role for WIPO to play in the field might be. Continue reading »

Nov 082017

By HU Yuanqiong  – Advocates of access to medicines movement would not feel unfamiliar with the issue of patent evergreening on chemical medicines while monopoly could get prolonged through applying for multiple patents on small changes of the same medicine. The similar tricks have also been practiced on other medical products, such as vaccines. As a traditional public health intervention, vaccines have been costing more money in recent years when a couple of newer generation of products are exhausting governments’ budgets largely due to their monopoly situations. Recent researches have suggested that patent thicket and evergreening, among others, have played an instrumental role. Continue reading »

Nov 072017

Abstract: With the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled in 2013, the international copyright community has shown its willingness to take further steps in the harmonization of limitations and exceptions in the field of copyright. However, the Marrakesh Treaty is only the tip of the iceberg. Its preparation and negotiation took place against the background of a much broader debate over the introduction of so-called “ceilings” in international copyright law: binding rules that set a maximum level of permissible protection. While the Marrakesh Treaty had success and became reality, the bigger project of regulating the ceilings of copyright protection in an international instrument is still pending.  Continue reading »

Oct 312017

[Creative Commons Urugualy, Link (CC-BY)] El 16 de octubre el Poder Ejecutivo firmó el decreto que reglamenta la excepción al derecho de autor aprobada por el Parlamento en octubre de 2013 en beneficio de personas ciegas o con dificultades para el acceso al texto impreso. Esta reglamentación hace efectivo el Tratado de Marrakech, firmado por nuestro país en 2013 y ratificado al año siguiente. Continue reading »

Oct 262017

[Desmond Oriakhogba, reposted from University of Cape Town IP Unit, Link] On 4 October 2017, Nigeria deposited during the 57th meeting of the WIPO general assembly in Geneva four ratification instruments concerning the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) of 1996, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) of 1996; the WIPO Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances of 2012 (Beijing Treaty); and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled of 2013 (Marrakesh Treaty) with the WIPO. The ratification instruments were signed by the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (President Muhammadu Buhari) on 24 August 2017.

Consequently, Nigeria has now accepted and undertaken to respect and implement the obligations under these treaties. However, the treaties do not have any force of law within the Nigerian territory unless domesticated (s12 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999) either by an enforcement and domestication Act or by including its provisions in the Copyright Act, Cap C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 through an amendment. This piece argues that as we celebrate the ratification of the treaties, there is, however, a great need to pause and ponder on the effect of implementing ‘the standards stipulated in the treaties’ in Nigeria. What impact will the standards in the treaties have on creativity, innovation and access to information for educational purposes in Nigeria? Put broadly, what effect will they have on the knowledge economy and the overall development in Nigeria? Continue reading »


EU Parliament Adopts Marrakesh Treaty; Blind Union Prepared To Fight Publisher ‘Compensation’

 Posted by on July 6, 2017  Comments Off on EU Parliament Adopts Marrakesh Treaty; Blind Union Prepared To Fight Publisher ‘Compensation’
Jul 062017

Monika Ermert, IP-Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)

The European Parliament today with over 600 votes adopted the legal instruments to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty on access to reading material for the visually impaired. The treaty, adopted by the members of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2013 and effective since last year, has been subject of controversies due to lobbying from publishers in the European Union, members of Parliament said today in Strasbourg before the vote. EU member states after today’s vote have one year to implement. Continue reading »


Copyright and Education at WIPO

 Posted by on June 26, 2017  Comments Off on Copyright and Education at WIPO
Jun 262017

[Teresa Nobre, Worlds of Education, Link (CC-BY-NC)] JUNE 15, 2017: The World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is currently engaged in discussing, at an international level, limitations and exceptions to copyright, including for educational purposes.

As the name suggests, these legal provisions create exceptions or limits to the exclusive rights of authors in controlling the use of their works by others for certain purposes. A teacher can only play YouTube videos in class, translate poems or insert an artwork in a presentation if there are educational exceptions in place in his or her country (or if those materials are licensed with open licenses). Continue reading »


EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail

 Posted by on May 22, 2017  Comments Off on EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail
May 222017

Joint statement by the Internaiontal Federation of Library Associations and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (Link, CC-BY)

IFLA and EBLIDA sincerely wish to be able to welcome wholeheartedly the compromise agreement on the Marrakesh Treaty Directive reached on 10th May by representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. However, together with the European Blind Union, we reject entirely the notion in the agreement that the fundamental public interest activities of non-profit libraries and charities in creating and sharing accessible format books may, in some Member States, give rise to ‘compensation’ to rightholders. Continue reading »


Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment

 Posted by on May 5, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment
May 052017

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 5, 2017

Chair: I would like to support that aspect of the GRUAC proposal that focuses on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment as a top priority for this committee.

There is an increasing recognition that so-called non-expressive uses – uses necessary for technological processes that do not compete with the copyright owner – are necessary to enable the internet and the services that are offered over it. Continue reading »


Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight

 Posted by on May 3, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight
May 032017

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 3, 2017

Chair: You and I are from countries that have educational exceptions that are open to the use of any work, for any education related activity or purpose, and by any user —  subject to a fairness test that takes into account the rights of authors and rights holders.

This openness in the exceptions environment enables innovations that promote access to learning materials, including through new technologies and over the internet. Continue reading »