Joint Public Comment on the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to implement without further delay Department of Education Rule 2 C.F.R. § 3474.20 for “Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs,” which ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department discretionary grant funds are openly licensed. We strongly support this rule, and encourage you to move ahead with its implementation immediately upon conclusion of this extension period. Click here for more.

The Web Is At A Crossroads – New Standard Enables Copyright Enforcement Violating Users’ Rights

[Parminder Jeet Singh] The World Wide Web today stands at a crossroads, as its standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), considers the demand of big content providers to provide them with the facility to be able to control user devices for ensuring that their content is not copied. This facility is called the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), which enables these companies to put digital rights management (DRM) into the user’s browser, whether the user wants it or not, and whether such restrictions are as per the user’s local national laws or not. Click here for more.

Influencing Centres of Change: the Policy and Advocacy Track at #CCSummit

In a couple of weeks in Toronto, we will welcome a global community of advocates working to improve education and access to information and culture through copyright reform and open policy. The summit’s Policy and Advocacy track will focus on increasing the effectiveness of our community in the current and future hotbeds of law and policy change. We hope you join us in sharing your experiences, learning about what others have been doing, and collaborating with us on education and advocacy activities. Check out the full programme, and view some of the highlights from the Policy and Advocacy track.

Intellectual Property Channeling for Digital Works

[Lucas Osborn] Abstract: Market economies are based on free competition, which can include copying. Yet intellectual property protection in the United States prohibits copying in certain circumstances to incentivize innovation and creativity. New breeds of digital works are challenging our historical application of intellectual property law. These include certain categories of software programs as well as digital manufacturing files. The problem is that these new works look deceptively like works from a previous era, and thus courts might languorously treat them as they have older works. This would be a mistake. Click here for more.

Spain’s El Pais Newspaper Comes Out Strongly Against Ancillary Copyright Madness

[Natalia Mileszyk] One might think that the debate on the ancillary copyright for press publishers is over – both JURI Rapporteur MEP Therese Comodini Cachia and IMCO Rapporteur Catherine Stihler rejected the Commission’s proposal to provide publishers with a competitive advantage by using copyright legislation. Unfortunately, even with such progressive voices, the misconceptions about the ancillary copyright were still visible even during last weeks Legal Affairs Committee hearing , where MEPs seemed not to understand that aggregators help news outlets gain a larger audience. And the debate in media on this issue was never more heated and polarized. Click here for more.

Scale Up of Hepatitis C Treatment Possible as Brazil Rejects Patent on Key Drug

[Médecins Sans Frontières] Treatment for hepatitis C using the key drug sofosbuvir could be vastly scaled up in Brazil after the decision by the National Agency of Health Surveillance (Anvisa) to reject a key patent application on the drug marketed by pharmaceutical corporation Gilead. The decision could pave the way to enable generic competition in Brazil, which should lead to price reductions, making it more affordable to scale up treatment. Click here for more.

IP Negotiating Objectives Listed in Trump Administration Draft Notice of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

[Mike Palmedo] Here is the Trump administration’s draft notice of intent to renegotiate NAFTA, which was put out by Inside U.S. Trade. The administration says many elements of the agreement as it currently stands are “clearly outdated,” and that FTA provisions on intellectual property rights have been “improved in newer trade agreements.” A few excerpts of interest to readers of this blog follow. These are listed in the letter as “specific negotiating objectives.” Click here for more.