AFTINET and Health Organisations Make Submission to the IP Australia Review of Pharmaceutical Patents
[AFINET release] The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET), the Public Health Association and three other health organisations have made a submission to the review of pharmaceutical patents because the issue of patents and medicine is a key issue in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations. The US is demanding much stronger patent laws which would allow pharmaceutical companies to charge high prices for medicines for longer periods. Our submission argues that there is no evidence for stronger patent laws, and that the Australian government should reject such requests in the TPPA. Click here for more.
Comments for 2013 Special 301 Report Due February 7; Hearing to Be Held on February 20
USTR is currently accepting written comments for the 2013 Special 301 Report, as well as requests for interested parties to testify at an open hearing before the interagency Special 301 Committee. The deadline for written comments and requests to testify is February 7. The hearing itself will take place on February 20. The Special 301 is the annual process in USTR conducts a review “to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” For the full instructions regarding participation in the process, click here.
Ley Lleras 2.0 Declared Unconstitutional
Last week, the Colombian Constitutional Court struck down Ley 1520 of year 2012, commonly known as “Ley Lleras 2.0.” The law was crafted to bring Colombian copyright law into compliance with the trade agreement signed with the United States. Ley Lleras 2.0 was criticized for lacking adequate protection of users’ rights, and it was rushed through the legislature in order to be passed in advanced of a Presidential visit by Obama last March. For more information see:
- Official Press Release from the Colombian Constitutional Court
- Carolina Botero. Colombian Constitutional Court Support Colombian Civil Society Concerns: Ley Lleras 2.0 Is Not Constitutional
- Andrés Izquierdo. Analysis on Article 13 of the Colombian Ley Lleras 2.0
- Carolina Botero. LeyLleras2 Declared Unconstitutional by the Colombian Constitutional Court.
- Marcela Palacio Puerta. Colombian Constitutional Court Strikes Down Ley Lleras 2.0.
- Andrés Izquierdo. Corte Constitucional declara inexequible la Ley Lleras 2.0
- Sean Flynn. Colombian Court Strikes FTA Copyright Bill: “Ley Lleras 2″
Antigua Requests Permission from WTO to Distribute Infringing American Content Online as a Form of Retaliation for U.S. Violation of the GATS Agreement
Today the government of Antigua is seeking final WTO authorization to launch a website that will sell copyright-infringing content without paying American rightholders in retaliation for the U.S.’s violation of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). American discrimination against offshore operators of online gambling websites “devastated” the Antiguan online gaming industry – formerly valued at $3.4 billion and employing 4,000 people. The WTO has already ruled that the U.S. violated GATS by prohibiting online gambling on websites hosted offshore. Under Article 22.3 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, a country such as Antigua that has been harmed by a violation of a WTO agreement may – in certain circumstances – retaliate against the other country by withholding benefits under a different WTO Agreement (such as TRIPS). Click here for more.
U.S. Department of State and Arab League Jointly Launch Open Educational Resources Project
[State Department Press Advisory] On Monday, January 28th, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the announcement of the Open Book Project. The Open Book Project is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and leading education innovators to expand access to free, high-quality open educational resources in Arabic, with a focus on science and technology and online learning. Open educational resources are materials released under open licenses that allow free use, sharing, and adaptation to local context. Offering access to these resources will help to create educational opportunity, further scientific learning, and foster economic growth. Click here for the full press advisory.
“The Sky Is Rising” – Study of Economic Data from the Entertainment Industry in Six Countries
[Excerpt from CCIA/Floor64 Report] At the beginning of 2012, we released our report, “The Sky is Rising,” which looked at the state of the global entertainment industry, focusing on four key creative sectors: music, books, video and video games. What we found, in going through a significant amount of data, was that contrary to the stories of doom and gloom concerning content, we are actually living in a true renaissance period of abundance, with each industry growing in terms of revenue — but even more impressively in terms of content output, often expanding at unheard of rates… In our follow-up report, which you’re now reading, we wanted to focus in on a few additional countries to get a better understanding of whether or not the same patterns are true within specific economies… What we found was, as expected, not all economies are the same — and some of those economies are in serious turmoil — but that the overall trend lines are similar in direction. Click here for the full report.