Brazilian Chamber of Deputies Approves Marco Civil Bill

[Luiz Fernando Moncau and Pedro Nicoletti Mizukami] At around 9pm today, March 25th 2014, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies finally voted in favor of approving the Marco Civil bill. The text, which can be read here (in Portuguese), will now be sent to the Federal Senate for deliberation, and later returned to the Chamber of Deputies before it can be sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff. Marco Civil, which is the first major Brazilian law on Internet rights—including provisions on net neutrality and intermediary liability—was modified several times by rapporteur Dep. Alessandro Molon (Worker’s Party, Rio de Janeiro), so that consensus could be reached in the Chamber of Deputies. It was a complicated process. Click here for more.

New Zealand, Plain Packaging, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

[Matthew Rimmer] The New Zealand Parliament is considering the adoption of plain packaging of tobacco products with the introduction of the Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill 2014 (NZ). There has been strong support for the measure amongst the major parties – including the National Party; the Maori Party; the Labor Party; and the Greens. The New Zealand parliamentary debate has considered matters of public health and tobacco control; the role of intellectual property law; and the operation of international trade and investment law. Click here for more.

See also: “Thousands Protest TPPA,” in the New Zealand Herald. (Link)

Sign-On Letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Urging Challenge of U.S. Trade Pressures at the WTO

[28 Indian Civil Society Groups and Individuals] We the undersigned organizations and individuals are writing this letter to urge you to reject the pressure tactics of the United States (US) administration against India and to resist and challenge such US unilateral threats at multilateral forum. The unilateral pressure by US administration on India, at the behest of US Business Associations lobby through U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) investigations and request to USTR to enlist India under Priority Foreign Country under Special 301 review lacks legitimacy under WTO framework. They are also in conflict with WTO legal obligations and these unilateral pressure and threat of sanctions are in violation of legal obligations under WTO framework. Further these unilateral measures adopted by US to pressure India undermine the existence of WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism. Click here for more.

Comments Submitted to USTR on its Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee Proposal

  • Representatives Davis and Larsen (Link)
  • Sean Flynn, David Flynn, and Margot Kaminiski (Link)
  • James Love, Knowledge Ecology International (Link)
  • Ellen Shaffer and Joseph Brenner, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (Link)
  • Full docket #USTR-2014-0005-0001 on (Link)

Copyright Rules OK? What EIFL Librarians say

[Electronic Information for Libraries]  Libraries in EIFL partner countries perform a vital role getting reading and other materials into the hands of people who need information and knowledge for education, research, health or leisure. The seven point plan submitted by EIFL in response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules highlights some issues that libraries want to see addressed…  Here are some of the things librarians in EIFL-partner countries told us for the European Commission consultation. Click here for more.

Industry-Led Tiered-Pricing or Country-Led, Real Equitable Access – the Global Fund’s Task Force Proposal Get Worse Instead of Better

[Brook Baker] On or about March 18, 2014, a third draft of the renamed “equitable access” proposal was released by Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, to partners for further input.  If anything, this third draft, the text of which is attached , is worse than the previous two drafts… A key intervention mentioned in the second draft has been deleted, namely IP reform and increased and coordinated use of TRIPS public health flexibilities. Click here for more.

 Recording Industry Reports Growth from User-Generated Content and New Projects in Emerging Economies

[Mike Palmedo] The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) released its annual digital music report last week. It reports a strong (51.3%) growth in digital subscription services, as well as growth from ad-supported streaming services. Like previous IFPI digital music reports, it contains sections describing the industry’s efforts against online infringement, but it also contains sections about its efforts to adjust to the new online environment. One interesting bit, reported by the Star, is that “recording industry is making more money from fan-made mashups, lip-syncs and tributes on YouTube than from official music videos.” Click here for more.

Scare Tactics Over Foreign Drugs

[Gabriel Levitt] An Op-Ed appeared in today’s New York Times criticizing the United States Food and Drug Administration’s conflation of counterfeit drugs with legitimate medications imported by Americans seeking lower prices for their own use. Click here for the full op-ed in the New York Times.