Australian Productivity Commission (APC) Recommends Adoption of Fair Use to Restore Balance in Copyright Law
[Mike Palmedo] A draft report by the Australian Productivity Commission (APC) concludes that the current copyright law fails to properly balance the interests of copyright holders and users. It warns that “Australia’s copyright arrangements are weighed too heavily in favour of copyright owners, to the detriment of the long-term interests of both consumers and intermediate users.” The APC recommends changes to the law to address the imbalance, including “the introduction of a broad, principles-based fair use exception.” This follows the 2013 Australian Law Reform Commission report on Copyright in the Digital Economy, which also recommended that Australia amend its copyright law to include fair use. Click here for more.
Who’s Downloading Pirated Papers? Everyone
[John Bohannon] …in increasing numbers, researchers around the world are turning to Sci-Hub, which hosts 50 million papers and counting. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub served up 28 million documents. …. The publisher with the most requested Sci-Hub articles? It is Elsevier by a long shot—Sci-Hub provided half-a-million downloads of Elsevier papers in one recent week. These statistics are based on extensive server log data supplied by Alexandra Elbakyan, the neuroscientist who created Sci-Hub in 2011 as a 22-year-old graduate student in Kazakhstan. I asked her for the data because, in spite of the flurry of polarized opinion pieces, blog posts, and tweets about Sci-Hub and what effect it has on research and academic publishing, some of the most basic questions remain unanswered: Who are Sci-Hub’s users, where are they, and what are they reading? Click here for more on Sciencemag.org.
USTR Releases 2016 Special 301 Report: New Law Requires Further Engagement with Priority Watch List Countries
[Mike Palmedo] Last week, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2016 Special 301 Report. The report satisfies the longstanding legislative requirement that it identify “those foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), or deny fair and equitable market access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property protection.” …this year a new law requires USTR to develop “action plans” with countries on the Priority Watch List and allows “appropriate actions” if the U.S. is unsatisfied with its trading partners’ progress on these plans. Click here for more.
EBU & WBU Express Great Concern at Absence of EU Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty
[World Blind Union] The European Blind Union (EBU) and World Blind Union (WBU) have sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, and Vice-President, Mr. Andrus Ansip, urging them to put an end to the obstruction of the EU’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. Click here for the full letter.
Draft Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intellectual Property and Investment Chapters Leaked
[Mike Palmedo] Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has leaked draft texts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) chapters on intellectual property and investment. The drafts are dated October 2015. RCEP is a large trade deal being negotiated by the ASEAN nations (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and their current FTA partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand)… Though RCEP is sometimes presented as a sort of non-U.S.-influenced alternative to the Trans Pacific Partnership, many of the same types of provisions are found in the IP and investment chapters. Click here for more.
Candidates Clinton and Sanders on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines in the TPP and Other Trade Agreements
[Mike Palmedo] The Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition (PFTC) has released questionnaires completed by candidates Sanders and Clinton on their views on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The questionnaires consist of ten questions and allow the candidates to give detailed answers. Topics include intellectual property and medicines, labor, environment, and fast track. Both candidates’ fully completed questionnaires are available in the PFTC press release. Question 4, on intellectual property and access to medicine, and each candidates’ full answer, are reproduced below. Click here for more.
Knowledge Creates Markets: The Influence of Entrepreneurial Support and Patent Rights on Academic Entrepreneurship
[Dirk Czarnitzki, Thorsten Doherr, Paula Schliessler, and Andrew A. Toole] Abstract: We use an exogenous change in German Federal law to examine how entrepreneurial support and the ownership of patent rights influence academic entrepreneurship. In 2002, the German Federal Government enacted a major reform called Knowledge Creates Markets that set up new infrastructure to facilitate university-industry technology transfer and shifted the ownership of patent rights from university researchers to their universities. Based on a novel researcher-level panel database that includes a control group not affected by the policy change, we find no evidence that the new infrastructure resulted in an increase in start-up companies by university researchers. The shift in patent rights may have strengthened the relationship between patents on university-discovered inventions and university start-ups; however, it substantially decreased the volume of patents with the largest decrease taking place in faculty-firm patenting relationships. Click here for more