Chilean Copyright Legislation Creates a Right of Remuneration that Cannot Be Waived
[Luis Villarroel] The Chilean Congress House of Deputies has approved a bill that creates a new unwaivable right of remuneration for authors of (and contributors to) audiovisual works. To make things worst this new right is to be exercised only through collective management organizations. Here is the link to bill as approved in the House of Representatives. This will mean that the music composer of a work embedded in any audiovisual work, the writer of the drama, the Director, the camera man, etc, will not be able to waive their rights or license for free through a creative commons license or any other open licenses, or give works to the public domain. Click here for more.
Final Hearings in Diego Gomez’s Copyright Infringement Case
[Fundacion Karisma, Link (CC-BY-SA)] Two final hearings took place in May 2016, in the criminal proceedings that Colombian biologist Diego Gomez is facing for alleged copyright infringement. “Whom do you hurt the most when there is no scientific information for years? The author or the country?” activist and lawyer Carolina Botero, from Karisma Foundation asked in her column “Sharing Is Not a Crime” in July 2014 when Diego’s case was made public in the media. The criminal process that began more than two years ago has continued its course, and on May the 3rd and 18th the judge heard Diego’s testimony. In August the judge will hear the concluding arguments of the prosecutor and defense. Click here for more.
Civil Society Letter to President of Colombia, re: The Right to Issue a Compulsory License for the Cancer Medicine Imatinib
[Joint Letter Signed by 122 Experts] Dear President Santos: We are lawyers, academics and other experts specializing in fields including intellectual property, trade and health, writing to affirm that international law and policy support Colombia´s right to issue compulsory licenses on patents in order to promote public interests including access to affordable medicines… Recent media reports suggest that staff for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and potentially representatives of the U.S. government may have communicated incorrect beliefs about compulsory licensing to their Colombian counterparts. If the reports are accurate, those officials have acted inappropriately, and contravened U.S. government policy, which supports trading partners’ rights to issue compulsory licenses. We condemn any pressure levied against Colombia for its use of lawful policies such as compulsory licensing to promote public health. Click here for more.
See also: Letter from KEI, Public Citizen, Oxfam America and HealthGap to Senator Hatch, regarding Colombia Compulsory License. Link.
California’s Legislature Wants to Copyright All Government Works
[Ernesto Falcon] The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary recently approved a bill (AB 2880) to grant local and state governments’ copyright authority along with other intellectual property rights. At its core, the bill grants state and local government the authority to create, hold, and exert copyrights, including in materials created by the government. For background, the federal Copyright Act prohibits the federal government from claiming copyright in the materials it creates, but is silent on state governments. As a result, states have taken various approaches to copyright law with some granting themselves vast powers and others (such as California) forgoing virtually all copyright authority, at least until now. Click here for more.
Low-Quality Patents in the Eye of the Beholder: Evidence from Multiple Examiners
[Gaétan de Rassenfosse, Adam Jaffe, and Elizabeth Webster] Low-quality patents are of considerable concern to businesses operating in patent-dense markets. There are two pathways by which low-quality patents may be issued: the patent office may apply systematically a standard that is too lenient (low inventive step threshold); or the patent office may grant patents that are, in fact, below its own threshold (so-called ‘weak’ patents). This paper uses novel data from inventions that have been examined at the five largest patent offices and an explicit model of the grant process to derive first-of-their-kind office-specific estimates of the height of the inventive step threshold and the prevalence of weak patents. Click here for more.
Principles For Reassuring Authors of SSRN-Posted Papers Under Elsevier’s Ownership
[Authors Alliance] For-profit publisher Elsevier’s acquisition of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) was disturbing news for many scholars who use SSRN to share their writings with colleagues. SSRN was never fully committed to the broadest conceptions of open access. But for those of us who have posted our works on SSRN over the years, it was open enough for purposes of disseminating our works to readers without charge. … Despite some reassurances that SSRN policies won’t change post-acquisition, there is reason to be concerned about the willingness of an Elsevier-run SSRN to accommodate the open access preferences of scholars who post there. Elsevier has recognized that displaying some receptiveness to open access is shrewd in the current era, although it has pursued policies that have created obstacles to true open access in the view of many scholars. How might Elsevier reassure SSRN authors that it will continue to respect the policies that have attracted scholarly authors to post on that site? As a starting point, Authors Alliance proposes these principles: Click here for more.