Joint Letter to Congressional Leadership Supporting the Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act

[The following letter was sent by 80+ organizations to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform] We, the undersigned businesses, industry groups, civil society organizations, and transparency advocates, write to express our strong support for the bipartisan Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act (S. 760). This bill, which unanimously passed the Senate in 2016, would establish a comprehensive policy across the federal government to ensure that government data is accessible to the public by default. Click here for more.

The Introduction of a Neighbouring Right for Press Publisher at EU Level: The Unneeded (and Unwanted) Reform

[Christophe Geiger, Oleksandr Bulayenko, and Giancarlo F. Frosio] Abstract: This article discusses the proposed introduction in EU law of neighbouring rights for press publishers for the digital uses of their publications… [It] highlights the challenges for the Digital Single Market associated with the establishment of an additional layer of 28 national rights and their related exceptions and limitations. By reference to the “pie theory”, it also shows how this proposal risks redistributing resources from creators to publishers. Further, this article underlines the missing causal link between the proposed reform and market efficiency justifications. Click here for more.

Colombia – A Place Where You Could Be Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for Plagiarism: A Crime that Does Not Exist!

[Marcela Palacio Puerta] Colombian copyright law does not expressly incorporate plagiarism as a crime. Nonetheless, Colombian courts have proclaimed plagiarism to be an act worthy of incarceration. Colombian copyright law protects moral rights of the author as human rights. In this regard, moral rights enjoy special protection that economic rights, for instance, do not have. Somewhat counter-intuitively, protecting moral rights as human rights, without set boundaries, may unbalance the copyright system and even violate other human rights, which is the case in Colombia. Click here for more.

The Medicines Patent Pool and Pharco Pharmaceuticals Sign Licence for Promising Hepatitis C Drug Candidate Ravidasvir

[Medicines Patent Pool Press Release] The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced a new licence and technology transfer agreement with Egyptian company Pharco Pharmaceuticals for ravidasvir (RAV), an investigational direct-acting antiviral (DAA) with the potential of working across all six major hepatitis C genotypes. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, will enable competitive supply of RAV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including high prevalence nations Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Iran. Click here for more.

Overview of the Kuwaiti Copyright Law of 2016

[Riyadh Al Balush] …The new Kuwaiti Copyright Law of 2016 does not give authors drastically more rights than what they used to. Both the 1999 and the 2016 laws offer a broadly worded economic rights section that does NOT restrict economic rights to specific activities such as reproducing, adapting, performing, etc, but instead widely state that the author has the right to permit and prohibit the use and exploitation of his works and provide reproduction, adaptation, performance, and other rights as examples of the rights that authors have over their works. This obviously goes beyond what is required by the Berne Convention and all other copyright treaties. Click here for more.

Creative Commons Summit: Opening the Next Chapter for Action on Copyright Reform

[Timothy Vollmer] Later this week in Toronto we’ll be joining hundreds of Creative Commons community members, supporters, and activists at the CC Global Summit. The summit program will feature keynotes and a variety of sessions organized around five tracks, including Policy & Advocacy, the Useable Commons, Community & Movement, Spheres of Open, and the Future of the Commons. Click here for more.