PIJIP and the AU Center for Social Media Release Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism

[PIJIP] The Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism will help journalists in the United States interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. It is intended for anyone who engages in the set of practices that entails creating media of any kind that refers to real-life events of public interest, in service of public knowledge, whether that person is a full-time professional or an individual who takes it upon himself or herself to report about specific issues or events. In other words, the definition of “journalism” to which this document speaks is defined by acts, not titles, and is an inclusive one, reflecting (in part) the changing nature of the technologies that support and enable journalistic practice. Click here for more.

South to Introduce Resolution on Access to Medicines at the UN Human Rights Council

[K.M. Gopakumar]  Developing countries are set to introduce a resolution on access to medicines at the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The draft resolution requests States, the UN and other intergovernmental organisations to address the existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, and the ways to overcome those challenges. The report of the Special Rapporteur on access to medicines, which was introduced at the Council meeting on 27 May… “stresses the need for states to take advantage of the flexibilities under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.” Click here for more.

Senators Seek USTR Nominee Froman’s Views on IP, India, Trade Promotion Authority, & Transparency of TPP Negotiations

[Mike Palmedo] Last Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee held its confirmation hearing for the Obama Administration’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman.   Themes that repeatedly came up included intellectual property protection in India and online, and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  Senators Wyden and Baucus also discussed the transparency of trade negotiations.  Baucus closed the hearing with a discussion of the role of the limitations and benefits of conducting trade policy within the multilateral trading system. Click here for more

Can TPP’s investment chapter harm consumer protection and access to knowledge?

[Rashmi Rangnath] Empowered by investment provisions in free trade agreements, corporations have challenged national laws, policies, and practices that protect the environment and public health. Phillip Morris’ challenges to cigarette plain packaging rules in Uruguay and Australia are the latest examples of such corporate actions. The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) also contains an investment chapter similar to the investment chapter in many FTAs. Would that chapter give corporations the same powers as other FTAs? Could it be used to challenge national measures designed to increase access to knowledge? Could it be used to challenge limits to copyright meant to protect consumers? Click here for more.

Sharing is a cultural right, not a market failure

[Philippe Aigrain] An endless stream of law proposals, soft-law initiatives and free-trade agreements keeps trying to eradicate or prevent the non-market sharing of digital works between individuals. New strategies are pushed using incentives and threats so that intermediaries will police the Internet to save the scarcity-based business models of a few from the competition of abundance. So is it business as usual? Well, no longer. There are strong signs that citizens and digital rights organizations have reached a new maturity in what used to be the “piracy” debate. For many years, they of course stressed the damage that the war against piracy was doing to the Internet, to freedoms and fundamental rights. However, many seemed to have forgotten that the initiators of file sharing … called it file sharing. They feared standing explicitly for its legitimacy and looked for schemes that would buy peace in the war against P2P. They pushed for blanket licensing or licence globale proposals (whether optional or compulsory) that proposed to compensate a limited set of industries (motion picture, phonographic industry and a lesser extent TV) for the harm allegedly caused by unauthorized sharing. Click here for more.

Facing Public Opposition, Taiwanese Government Withdraws SOPA-Like Copyright Legislation

[Mike Palmedo] The government of Taiwan has backed down from plans to amend its copyright law to justify take-downs of foreign websites accused of hosting copyright-infringing material. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had proposed legislation to create a blacklist and allow DNS blocking.  A citizen backlash sprung up immediately, and the IPO initially claimed the public was exaggerating the issue. When it became clear that Taiwan would face an internet blackout, the IPO announced that it would withdraw the copyright amendment. Click here for more.

WTO Members Agree On Draft Extension Of TRIPS Transition For LDCs

[Catherine Saez, IP Watch]  World Trade Organization members today reached a draft decision on a request put forward by least-developed countries to extend the period during which they do not have to comply with international rules of intellectual property rights protection, according to sources. Under the terms of the hard-fought decision, LDCs can benefit from an extension of eight more years. The draft decision is expected to be confirmed during the WTO Council on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), taking place on 11-12 June. Click here for the full story on IP-Watch.

UK Intellectual Property Office Accepting Comments on Draft Legislation on Copyright Exceptions

[UK IP Office]  In December 2012, the Government published its response to the consultation, “Modernising Copyright”. This document outlines the changes the Government intends to make to copyright exceptions, and the reasons for them… we made a commitment that we would give everyone an opportunity to comment on the detail of the draft legislation implementing these changes. … The first drafts we are publishing for review are the exceptions for private copying, parody, quotation and public administration. Drafts for the other exceptions will be released as soon as they are ready. You are invited to submit any written comments as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on the first four exceptions is 17 July 2013. Click here for the full announcement at ipo.gov.uk.