To mark the two-year anniversary of the SOPA copyright protests, the Electronic Frontier Foundation held Copyright Week from January 13-18. Numerous groups wrote about the following issues: Transparency, Building and defending a robust public domain, Open access, You bought it – you own it, Fair use rights, and Getting copyright right. Click here for the EFF page with the posts.
Congress Passes Spending Bill Requiring Free Access to Publicly Funded Research
[Tim Vollmer] Both the U.S. House of Representative and Senate have passed the 2014 omnibus appropriations legislation. President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly. What’s so special about this legislation? Federal agencies with research budgets of at least $100 million per year will be required provide the public with free online access to scholarly articles generated with federal funds no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Click here for more.
What Happened to the Brazilian Copyright Reform?
[Mariana Giorgetti Valente and Pedro Nicoletti Mizukami] … In December 2007, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture — then under Minister Gilberto Gil’s administration — started the National Copyright Law Forum, a series of seminars across the country with the participation of lawyers, researchers, artists and industry representatives, with the goal of gathering information and pave the way for a copyright reform process. Based on these events, and other closed and open meetings with different stakeholders, the Ministry of Justice prepared a draft copyright reform bill, which was submitted to public consultation in 2010. Click here for more.
Treatment Action Campaign Responds to Big Pharma Plan to Derail Patent Law Reform in South Africa
[TAC] The Treatment Action Campaign is outraged over what appears to be a covert and well-funded plan from the foreign pharmaceutical industry to delay an essential law reform process in South Africa. It takes us back to the turn of the century when 39 pharmaceutical companies took President Nelson Mandela and the South African government to court to try to stop legislative reform to improve South Africa’s ability to access affordable life-saving medicines. Now, just weeks after his death, foreign pharmaceutical companies are coordinating another major attack on this right. Click here for more.
- Brook Baker, Health GAP. “US PhRMA Bares its Fangs – South Africa Patent Law Reform and Access to Medicine at Risk Yet Again.” (Link)
- Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa. “IPASA Statement on Reports of Proposed Advocacy Campaign.” (Link)
Letter from Five Members of Congress to USTR on TPP and Access to Medicine
[Reps. Reps. Levin, Waxman, Conyers, Rangel and McDermott] In October 2011 we wrote to Ambassador Kirk to reiterate the importance of incorporating, in the Trans Pacific Partnership, (TPP), the Bipartisan Agreement on Trade Policy of May 10, 2007 (May 10 agreement). As the TPP negotiations enter what may be their final stages, we write you to emphasize the critical nature of these provisions in ensuring that free trade agreement (FTA) obligations to not undermine public health. Click here for the full letter.
¿Perspectivas públicas sobre la propiedad intelectual? ¿Para qué? – Reflexiones sobre la escuela de verano INAPI – OMPI
[Claudio Ruiz] Por primera vez en Latinoamérica, INAPI impartirá el curso de verano sobre propiedad intelectual de la OMPI. ¿Cuáles son sus énfasis, quiénes son los expositores convocados y qué lugar ocupa la reflexión sobre acceso, entorno digital y limitaciones? Más información.
Bad News from the World of Fracking and, Even More Importantly, Corporate Control of Information
[David Levine] A few days ago, the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) industry was able to successfully lobby (via Halliburton) to weaken North Carolina’s proposed fracking information access rules. The result could be that trade secrets – that information that is commercially valuable because it is not publicly known– will be difficult to access not only for the public, but even for the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, charged with writing and enforcing the regulations for fracking. Click here for more.
Statement by Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab – Bio-Similar of Breast Cancer Launched But Needs to Be Made Affordable
[Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab] The Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab welcomes the long awaited announcement that the Indian pharmaceutical company Biocon will now market a bio-similar of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab. The biosimilar to be marketed under the brand name of CANMAb is expected to be available in the Indian market from 1 February 2014 and will be sold at a price of Rs.19, 500/- per vial of 150 mg. The marketing of the bio-similar so soon after the removal of patent barriers vindicates our stand in challenging and opposing the secondary patents and divisional patents on trastuzumab sought by Roche in India. We urge patients organisations and civil society groups in other countries to remain vigilant and resist similar unethical attempts by pharma majors to reap unethical profits at the cost of millions of lives. Click here for more.
Cato Institute Hosts Panel on Eli Lilly’s NAFTA Investor-State Dispute Against Canada’s Patent Judgment
[Mike Palmedo] Yesterday, the Cato Institute hosted a panel on the Investor-State dispute brought by Eli Lilly against Canada under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The panel featured Mark Schultz from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, Burcu Kilic from Public Citizen, and Christopher Sands from the Hudson Institute. The trade dispute surrounds a Canadian court case in which Eli Lilly’s patent for Strattera was found to be invalid because it did not met the Canadian utility standards. The company alleges that the utility standards applied by the court – which require the patent applicant to demonstrate ‘promised utility’ at the time of filing – amount to an “unlawful expropriation of Claimant’s investments.” Click here for more.
Upcoming Cato Event: Tuesday, Jan 21: Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: National Interest or Corporate Handout? (Link with bios and webcast)
Internet Association Statement in Response to the Trade Promotion Authority Introduction
[Internet Association] The Internet Association appreciates Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch’s recognition that the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 must address key trade issues in the marketplace. The Internet drives global trade and commerce and enables U.S. businesses of all kinds, from multinational corporations to small businesses, to reach global markets, ultimately providing significant economic and societal benefits for consumers. By recognizing the growing significance of the Internet as a platform for international commerce, this bill takes a step toward modernizing U.S. trade policy. Click here for more.