Global Congress 2015 Update – Dates, Theme and Tentative Tracks

[Nehaa Chaudhari] The Centre for Internet and Society, India (CIS-India) will be hosting the 4th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest (the Congress) at New Delhi, India. Our institutional partner, and the venue for this year’s Congress is the National Law University, Delhi. Here are some important updates. Click here for more.

Online Retransmission Consent and DMCA Liability Protections

[Seth Johnson] At the following link you will find the FCC’s NPRM for establishing a “retransmission consent” regime online for a specific class of online services called Multichannel Video Programming Distributors. It addresses all services that make multiple linear video programming streams available online on a subscription basis… It would establish the first formal exception to the broad protections against copyright infringement liability provided to online service providers under the DMCA’s Notice and Takedown procedures — and it is being proposed by the FCC, not by Congress. Click here for more.

Global Library and Archives Community Welcomes New Report from UN Special Rapporteur on Copyright Policy and the Right to Science and Culture

[Joint statement by 15 civil society groups]  On Wednesday, 11th March 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights presents a report to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding copyright policy in the context of cultural rights. The international library and archive community welcomes the report that examines copyright from a critical but often neglected perspective: the human dimension. Click here for more.

Massive Coalition of Japanese Organizations Campaigns Against TPP Copyright Provisions

[Maira Sutton]  “We are deeply concerned about this situation in which important decisions for our nation’s culture and society are being made behind closed doors” reads a joint public statement from Japanese activists who are fighting the copyright provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A group of artists, archivists, academics, and activists, have joined forces in Japan to call on their negotiators to oppose requirements in the TPP that would require their country, and five of the other 11 nations negotiating this secretive agreement, to expand their copyright terms to match the United States’ already excessive length of copyright. Click here for more.

Should All Drugs Be Patentable?  A Comparative Perspective

[Cynthia Ho] Abstract: Although there has been substantial discussion of the proper scope of patentable subject matter in recent years, drugs have been overlooked. This Article begins to address that gap with a comparative perspective. In particular, this Article considers what is permissible under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), as well as how India and Canada have utilized TRIPS flexibilities in different ways to properly reward developers of valuable new drugs, while also considering the social harm of higher prices beyond an initial patent term on drugs. Click here for more.

New Translations of the EIFL Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty

[Electronic Information for Libraries] New translations in French and Russian of ‘The Marrakesh Treaty: an EIFL Guide for Libraries’ are now available online. The new translations will help ensure that the guide is read in more EIFL partner countries, and is used by more librarians to advocate for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities. Click here for more.

TWN Biopiracy Briefing Paper: Sabara – An African Anti-Cancer Medicinal Plant Claimed by French Universities

[Ed Hammond] The  Dogon  people  of  Mali  are  widely known  for  their unique culture, including a well-developed system of traditional medicine. Attracted by the strength of Dogon traditional  knowledge, since  at least  2006, a  group  of French bioprospectors from Auvergne has focused a drug discovery effort on Dogon medicinal plants. The bioprospectors were recently successful,  finding a  promising  new anti-cancer compound in a  plant  used  in traditional medicine not only by the Dogon, but by other peoples across the Sahel and nearby regions. Three French universities have together filed patent claims, but there’s no evidence that Africa will benefit from this “French discovery”. Click here for more on

Members of the European Parliament Must Support the Reda Report on Copyright Reform!

[La Quadrature du Net] On 23 and 24 March 2015, you will examine the proposed amendments to the report of MEP Julia Reda on the reform of the directive on copyright. More than 500 amendments have been tabled, the large majority of which aim at emptying it from its substance. Julia Reda’s draft report responds to the aspirations expressed by a large number of citizens: they wish to access and to share more widely culture and knowledge in the digital environment. La Quadrature du Net calls the MEPs of the JURI commission to preserve the progress in this report and in particular those that strenghten the positive rights of individuals in culture. Click here for more.