Academics to PricewaterhouseCoopers: You Got It Wrong on the Benefits of Fair Use
[Sean Flynn] Intellectual property scholars and researchers from prominent universities in the U.S., Canada and Australia have released a submission to the Australian Productivity Commission strongly criticizing a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on the economics of fair use (PWC Report). According to the Academics’ Submission: “The diffuse and forward-looking benefits of open exceptions like fair use may be hard to measure, but they are no less real. The PWC’s evaluation of the costs and benefits of fair use are not real. It is full of imagined horror stories that are unlikely to take place in fact.” Click here for more.
Court Correctly Interprets Creative Commons Licenses
[Michael Carroll] Are Creative Commons licenses enforceable in court? Yes. In an important decision titled Drauglis v. Kappa Map Group, LLC, 128 F. Supp.3d 46 (D.D.C. 2015), Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has issued a decision that: 1) confirms the enforceability of Creative Commons licenses under U.S. copyright law; 2) interprets the attribution requirement in the licenses to have the flexibility that is consistent with the licenses’ language and intent; 3) holds that incorporating a photo into the cover of a road atlas creates a collective work rather than derivative work under U.S. copyright law; and 4) holds that the “ShareAlike” condition in the 2.0 version of CC licenses is only triggered when a user distributes a derivative work as that concept is understood under U.S. law. The court also rejected some misdirected arguments about copyright management information under Section 1202 of the Copyright Act. Click here for more.
Letter: Médecins Sans Frontières and Over 50 Groups Urge US Congress to Reject the TPP
[Joint civil society letter] Dear Member of Congress: As organizations concerned with public health in the United States and across the world, we are alarmed by the implications for access to medicines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed by the U.S. and 11 other countries on February 4th, 2016. The intellectual property (IP), investment, and pharmaceutical and medical device reimbursement listing provisions included in the TPP would do more to undermine access to affordable medicines than any previous U.S. trade agreement. We therefore urge you to reject the TPP in its current form. Click here for more.
EIFL Calls for Ambitious Copyright Reform in Europe
[Electronic Information for Libraries] EIFL has joined an open letter addressed to senior figures at the European Commission responsible for the digital single market. In the context of current copyright reforms, the letter asks that the Commission delivers on promises for ambitious reform so that copyright is fit for purpose in the digital environment, and that strengthens fundamental principles of rights to access knowledge. The letter is co-signed by a coalition representing libraries, museums, consumers, digital rights groups, internet service providers and IT companies from all over Europe. Click here for more.
Say Nay to the Neighbouring Right!
[Bernt Hugenholtz] The European Commission keeps sending us surprises. After December’s Communication on Modernizing Copyright, which contained a mixed bag of copyright goodies, we had expected just about anything but the announcement that followed on March 23rd. The European Commission has launched a public open consultation on ‘the possible extension’ of neighbouring rights to publishers. As we all know, neighbouring (or related) rights at EU level are currently confined to four categories: performing artists, phonogram producers, broadcasters and film producers. Apparently, someone has convinced the Commission that extending this regime to publishers might be a good idea. In my opinion, it is not. Click here for more on the Kluwer Copyright Blog.
Rational Faith: The Utility of Fairness in Copyright
[Stephanie Plamondon Bair] Abstract: The biggest debate in copyright law is also the most fundamental: for what purpose does copyright exist? There are two schools of thought about the appropriate answer to this key question. The first, dominant school focuses on economic efficiency, while the second emphasizes fairness and other moral concerns… Here, I reframe the debate by suggesting that the dichotomy between moral rights and utility should be abolished altogether. Drawing on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and organizational behavior, I demonstrate that when it comes to creation, fairness — a moral rights concern — often is utility in a very real sense. The evidence suggests that treating creators fairly acts as a powerful motivator for creative work, results in objectively more creative output, and aligns well with public and legal decision-makers’ moral intuitions… Click here for more.
Nothing Special (301) to Report
[K.M. Gopakumar] The Special 301 Report, an annual feature from the US that evaluates global intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement in other countries, is expected to be out on or before April 30. The report ranks countries depending on the inadequacy of IP protection and enforcement into two categories — priority foreign country (PFC) and priority watch list (PWL). While a PFC grading obligates the US Trade Representative (USTR) to initiate unilateral measures like suspension of trade concessions in case of failure of negotiation, the PWL increases “bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.” India is in the PWL category for more than 15 years. And its status will continue because unlike 2014, there is no demand from the pharmaceutical IP lobby to categorise India as a PFC. Click here for more.