Call for Papers – Special Issue of the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development

[Burcu Kilic] We invite participants of the combined 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest and Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa to submit their papers for a special issue of the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development. The best papers presented and submitted at the Open A.I.R. Conference and Global Congress will be reviewed, and may be selected for publication. Click here for more.

Make Copyright Compatible with the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

[Ante Wessels] This note argues that copyright law has to be made compatible with the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This note limits itself to three ICESCR rights relevant for the digital environment: access to knowledge, access to culture and authors’ rights. The first section introduces the ICESCR. The second section distinguishes intellectual property rights and ICESCR rights. It discusses how to deal with conflicts within the ICESCR system. It argues that copyright law needs exceptions for underserved markets and remix artists, and that it is questionable whether after life duration of copyright is compatible with the ICESCR. The third section discusses the right to enjoy intellectual property and concludes that the right to enjoy intellectual property does not change the conclusion that copyright law needs the aforementioned exceptions. Click here for more.

Mexican Economy Minister on TPP Provisions on Copyright Term, Camcording, and Notice-and-Takedown

[Mike Palmedo] Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo gave a briefing in Mexico City about the state of the TPP negotiations, which he said may be completed by the end of April.  He said that the Singapore Ministerial helped move the negotiations along, with potential compromises on sensitive topics identified (though not finalized).  Of interest to infojustice readers, he also described the state of play on some particular items in the intellectual property chapter. Click here for more.

Patents: Reform or Lose

[Lotti Rutter]  Achieving the National Strategic Plan (NSP) objectives depends on the effective use of the national health budget. But is there sufficient emphasis on value for money in the health sector at a time when South Africa is struggling to meet its targets of placing 80% of eligible patients on ART and reducing TB deaths by 50%? Or is money being wasted lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry that manipulates the system to make ever-increasing levels of profit? Click here for more.

South African D.G. of Health, Doctors Challenge Pharma Lobbying Plans

[Universities Allies for Essential Medicines] In a meeting with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), South African Director General of Health Malebona Precious Matsoso strongly criticized a leaked proposal by the pharmaceutical industry lobby to undermine access to medicines in South Africa. Click here for more.

WHO Chief: No Government Should Be Intimidated For Doing “Right Thing” In Public Health

[Catherine Saez] Discussions on access to essential medicines yesterday at the World Health Organization were in some ways overshadowed by the recent leak of a global pharmaceutical campaign aimed at derailing efforts by the South African government to revise its intellectual property policy. WHO Director General Margaret Chan strongly supported South Africa, as did several developing countries, while developed countries remained silent on the subject. Click here for the full story on IP Watch.

EU High Court: Circumvention of Technological Prevention Measures Not Always Illegal

[Mike Palmedo] Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the circumvention of technological protection measures is not illegal in all cases; in order for the circumvention to be illegal, it must be done for the purpose of infringement. The CJEU press release notes that the EU directive requires Members to provide protection against circumvention of technological prevention measures, but states that: “The directive is designed only to protect the copyright holder against acts which require his authorisation.” Click here for more.

Japan Aims to Start IP Negotiations in the ASEAN-Centered Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

[Mike Palmedo] The third round of negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are underway this week in Kuala Lumpur. RCEP is a proposed trade agreement involving the ten ASEAN member states and six additional countries that have standing trade agreements with them. The Jiji Press reports that “the Japanese government is expected to ask other countries to convene specialized task forces for intellectual property right protections and other domains and to call for the start of full-blown talks on these areas.” Click here for more.

Two upcoming deadlines for participation in IP policy debates

  • February 5 – Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules (Link)
  • February 7 – Comments or requests to testify at a hearing for the US Special 301 review (Link)