MEP Julia Reda: EU Copyright Rules Are Maladapted to the Increase of Cross-Border Cultural Exchange on the Web

[Julia Reda] EU copyright rules are maladapted to the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet, an upcoming European Parliament own-initiative report evaluating 2001’s copyright directive finds. The draft released today by Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party, lays out an ambitious reform agenda for the overhaul of EU copyright announced in the Commission’s 2015 work programme. “The EU copyright directive was written in 2001, in a time before YouTube or Facebook. Although it was meant to adapt copyright to the digital age, in reality it is blocking the exchange of knowledge and culture across borders today“, Reda explains. “We need a common European copyright that safeguards fundamental rights and makes it easier to offer innovative online services in the entire European Union.” Click here for more.

Letter to President Obama: Promote Health In India, Not Narrow Pharma IP Interests

[12 American NGOs] We write as American organizations in advance of your trip to India this month to ask you to support India’s central role in providing high-quality, low-cost generic medicines—which are essential for health care around the world. Recent U.S. policy stances have sought to topple parts of India’s intellectual property regime that protect public health in order to advance the interests of multinational pharmaceutical corporations in longer, stronger, and broader exclusive patent and related monopoly rights. India’s laws fully comply with the WTO TRIPS Agreement. Millions around the world depend on affordable generic medicines that would disappear if India acceded to these proposals. Click here for more.

Secret TPP Negotiations—And Public Protests—To Be Held in New York City

[Maria Sutton]  The next round of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations begins this Monday, January 26, and runs through the following week at the Sheraton New York Time Square Hotel in downtown Manhattan. As with many previous TPP meetings, the public will be shut out of talks as negotiators convene behind closed doors to decide binding rules that could impact how our lawmakers set digital policy in the decades to come. Big content industry interests have been given privileged access to negotiating texts and have driven the US Trade Representative’s mandate when it comes to copyright—which is why the TPP carries extreme copyright measures that ignore users’ rights. Click here for the full blog on EFF’s Deeplinks.

See also:  Agenda and Webcast of AU event on Mega-regional Trade Agreements (Link)

Here Come the Trade Secret Trolls

[David Levine] Abstract: Within the past few years, the U.S. federal government has been forced to confront the massive but hard-to-quantify problem of foreign and state-sponsored cyberespionage against U.S. corporations, from Boeing to small technology start-ups, and (as of this writing) perhaps Sony Pictures Entertainment. As part of that effort, Congress has taken up the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Trade Secret Protection Act which would create a private cause of action under the federal Economic Espionage Act. This Article addresses the possibility of introducing trolling behavior—using litigation as a means to extract settlement payments from unsuspecting defendants—to trade secret law through creation of a federal private trade secret misappropriation cause of action. Click here for more.

Torrent Site Blockages Are Disproportional, Greek Court Rules

[Ernesto, TorrentFreak]   A Greek anti-piracy group has lost its bid to have various torrent sites blocked by local Internet providers. The Athens Court ruled that barring access to torrent sites such as KickassTorrents and The Pirate Bay is disproportionate and unconstitutional, while hindering the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms. Click here for more.

Can You Copyright a Tweet?

[Andres Guademuz] Some weeks ago I was asked to comment on whether tweets are subject to copyright protection. Unsurprisingly, this is a common question that gets asked over and over again, as some of the information online is contradictory and misleading, or refers to other jurisdictions. Do we have an answer in the UK? Sadly, the question has remained open because there has not been a direct case that deals with the issue, and the lack of litigation creates uncertainty in some people’s minds. The situation is made more complex by the diverse nature of Twitter, a tweet can be text, but it can also be made of pictures, gifs, vines, and even embedded videos. We’ll deal with these separately. Click here for more.

Spanish Hepatitis C Patients Petition European Parliament

Mario Cortes Morales, Spanish citizen, in representation of the “Plataforma de afectados por la Hepatitis C” (Platform of people affected by hepatitis C), presents this petition before the European Parliament… Demands that the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament present concrete policy proposals and flexible changes in EU legislation concerning intellectual property with the objective of encouraging the rapid entry into the European market, either from European production or importation, of affordable generic versions of the most effective and safe therapies for all EU citizens and residents affected by Hepatitis C. Click here for the full petition.

The Institutional Fragmentation of International Intellectual Property Law in Pacific Rim: Authority and Legitimacy, Regime Interaction and Future Institutional Development in a ‘World Society’

[Anlei Zuo] Abstract:  Under the context of institutional fragmentation of international IP law in this world society, the international IP law in Pacific Rim is in a flux with various international IP legal actors, including TRIPS, WIPO, CBD, TPP, RECP, FTAAP, etc. With the method of socio-legal analysis emphasizing and basing itself on authority and legitimacy, interaction of IP regimes and future institutional development, this paper investigates the historical evolution of international IP regimes in Pacific Rim and their interactions, paying particular attention to the analysis of two concepts (authority and legitimacy) onto those international IP regimes and their competitive gaming. Click here for the full paper on ssrn.