Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016 Highlights Balance in Copyright System

[Krista Cox] On February 22–26, 136 organizations and numerous individuals participated in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016, an annual celebration of the important—and flexible—doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. This year’s event was organized by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations, such as Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the R Street Institute, Re:Create, and Wikimedia. Click here for more.

Contributions to the High Level Panel on Access to Medicines

The UN has convened a High Level Panel on Access to Medicines which has been tasked “to review and assess proposals and recommend solutions for remedying the policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health in the context of health technologies.” It received 174 contributions to its a call for comments, which will inform a final report, to be issued later this year. They come from a wide range of IP owners, civil society groups and academics, including many who get this roundup. Click here to access the responses.

Special 301 Post-Hearing Submission, Responding to Questions from the Committee

[Sean Flynn] …I was asked in the hearing to comment on the proposition that flexible exceptions like fair use are only appropriate for the U.S. or other countries with highly developed adjudication systems. As I noted in the hearing, this idea is based on some key fallacies. There are three core elements that define fair use: (1) Openness: the exception can be applied to uses not specifically enabled by enumerated limitations and exceptions (as distinguished from a closed list); (2) Flexibility: the exception is applied through a flexible proportionality test that balances factors such as nature and importance of the new use, the interests of the author or copyright holder, and the impacts on third parties and society at large; (3) Generality: the exception applies to all uses, purposes and uses, including those covered by specific limitations and exceptions. Click here for more

CC-USA Participates in Hill Briefing “Understanding Open Educational Resources”

[Meredith Jacob] Creative Commons United States’ Professor Michael Carroll participated today in a briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building on “Understanding Open Educational Resources and Student Learning” (agenda here).  The briefing covered the legal background of what open educational resources are and how they work; how OER can save money for college students; and pathways for states and districts to implement OER in the K12-setting. Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) kicked off the session. The Congressman has been a leader on education issues, including his leadership in the recent reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Click here for more.

After Special 301 Out of Cycle Review, Honduras Agrees to Strengthen Intellectual Property Enforcement

[Mike Palmedo] The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced a “work plan” with Honduras to strengthen IP enforcement there. According to a USTR press release, Honduras will “substantially increase the number of prosecutors specializing in criminal IPR enforcement by the end of this March.  The GOH has also committed to publish quarterly reports on prosecution case activity, in order to promote transparency and accountability as this plan is implemented. Click here for more.

Open Education Week:  March 7 – 11

Open Education Week is a global event that seeks to raise awareness of free and open sharing in education and the benefits they bring to teachers and learners. Coordinated by the Open Education Consortium, the event showcases projects, resources, and ideas from around the world that demonstrate open education in practice. The open education movement seeks to reduce barriers, increase access and drive improvements in education through open sharing and digital formats.  Open education includes free and open access to platforms, tools and resources in education, including learning materials, course materials, videos, assessment tools, research, study groups, and textbooks, all available for free use and modification under an open license. For more: openeducationweek.org.