Australian Attorney-General Commits to Major Overhaul of the Copyright Act
[Australian Digital Alliance] It has been a big week for Australian Copyright. On Thursday the Attorney-General, the Hon George Brandis QC, tabled the long-anticipated final report from the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Copyright and the Digital Economy inquiry. This inquiry was charged with determining if copyright exceptions and limitations were working in the digital age. The conclusion was that reform was needed. Click here for more.
Australian Law Commission Report Released: “Key Recommendation Is For the Introduction of a Fair Use Exception”
[Australian Law Commission] The ALRC was asked to consider whether the current exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act are adequate and appropriate in the digital era. The Report, tabled on 13 February 2014, is the result of an 18-month Inquiry during which the ALRC produced two consultation documents, undertook 109 consultations and received 870 submissions. The Report contains 30 recommendations for reform. The key recommendation is for the introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law. Click here for more.
See also: Newly released text – Intellectual Property Chapter of the Korea-Australia FTA
Legislators from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru Call for Release of TPP Text
[tppmpsfortransparency.org] Senior legislators from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru today issued a joint letter seeking the release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) before it is signed, to enable detailed scrutiny and public debate. The signatories include political party leaders and legislators who currently or previously held senior political office in their national governments. Click here for more.
UNITAID Report on the Trans Pacific Partnership: Implications for Public Health
[Kajal Bhardwaj and Cecilia Oh] In recent years, the number of bilateral and regional trade negotiations has been increasing. Many of these negotiations involve both developed and developing countries, and the ensuing free trade agreements often contain extensive provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights. These provisions usually impose a higher level of protection for intellectual property rights than is required under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS Agreement. These so-called “TRIPS-plus” provisions delay generic market entry and competition. As such, they run counter to UNITAID’s efforts to increase the affordability of, and access to, medicines and other medical products. Click here for more.
See also: Joint statement by ten civil society groups on proposal for differential treatment of developing countries in the TPP. Link.
Report on Copyright Reform in Poland: December2013-January 2014
[Katarzyna Rybicka ] … In December 2013 Centrum Cyfrowe has finished a two-year research project on copyright law and social norms related to content usage. The main purpose of the study was to provide reliable knowledge about what people today think on issues related to copyright. The report “Copyright Law in transition. On Social Norms related to Content Usage” shows that the core of today’s problems with copyright in a broad social context is anomie – an imbalance in the system of norms and values which have dominated until now; a situation where these norms cannot be upheld any longer because of a change of social conditions in which they used to function. Click here for more.
Notes on Hearings of U.S. International Trade Commission Investigation of Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India
[Mike Palmedo] On February 12 and February 14, the International Trade Commission held hearingsas part of its investigation titled “Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy.” The investigations was called for by Sen. Baucus, Sen. Hatch, Rep. Camp and Rep Levin, who requested that the Commission provide a report on “Indian industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. imports and investment for the sake of supporting Indian domestic industries.” The report, due November 2014, is supposed to address a series of questions, which include the effect of intellectual property policies. Notes on the hearing are split between three blogs: Panel One | Panel Two | Panel Three.
TAC Research Paper: The Economic & Social Case for Patent Law Reform in South Africa
[Lotti Rutter] This updated research paper from the Treatment Action Campaign seeks to respond with reasoned analysis to a number of inaccurate claims that have been made by the pharmaceutical industry particularly in light of the PharmaGate scandal. The evidence highlights how South Africa’s current intellectual property system allows exploitation by foreign companies whilst impeding access to medicines and the growth of our local industry. Additionally, the paper demonstrates that there is little evidence to back up industry claims that the adoption of public health safeguards in South Africa will undermine the development of future medicines. Click here for more.
The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site
[Court of Justice of the European Union] Press articles written by several Swedish journalists were published on a freely accessible basis on the website of the Göteborgs-Posten. Retriever Sverige, a Swedish company, operates a website that provides its clients with clickable internet links (hyperlinks) to articles published on other websites, including the site of the Göteborgs-Posten. Retriever Sverige did not, however, ask the journalists concerned for authorisation to establish hyperlinks to the articles published on the site of the Göteborgs-Posten. Click here for the full press release.