Comments to U.S. Trade Representative: Promoting Copyright Balance in NAFTA
[Sean Michael Flynn and Michael Palmedo] …One key element of an adequately balanced copyright system is having sufficiently “open” limitations and exceptions for the digital environment. We refer to “open” limitations and exceptions for the digital environment as those that are open to the use of any kind of work, by any kind of user and for any purpose, as long as the use does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. Such openness is the hallmark of the U.S. fair use clause. These “open” aspects are crucial because the digital environment creates new opportunities to use different kinds of works, by different users and for different purposes than were envisioned in most copyright statutes. An open statute is a flexible one – and flexibility is needed to accommodate and encourage innovation in the digital environment. Click here for more.
Crowdfunding Campaign Seeks to Help Diego Gómez, a Colombian Conservation Biologist Prosecuted for Sharing a Research Online
[María Juliana Soto] Karisma Foundation, a Colombian civil society organization, is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support Diego Gómez, a biologist accused of copyright infringement for sharing a scientific research online. When he was a college student at Universidad del Quindío, Diego uploaded a thesis from a colleague at Universidad Nacional de Colombia on the document platform Scribd (citing the author’s name). He also shared it with several of his peers in social media. Although the maximum penalty for the crime was 8 years, on May 24 Diego was acquitted in the first instance, by proving that the document was already available online, and he did not receive financ0ial benefit from it nor had he the intention of harming to the author. His intention was sharing knowledge, that was all. However, the first instance ruling has been challenged on appeal before the Tribunal de Bogota so the process continues. Click here for more.
Copyright Rules Crippling Artists
[Patricia Aufderheide] All over the world, copyright regimes have figured out how to write exceptions that don’t hurt the market for creators’ work but permit new work to be made without strangling costs. But Australia has one of the most rigid copyright regimes in the world. What happens here to creators who have to work under those conditions? A team at the Queensland University of Technology, for which I am principal investigator, has been tackling that question. I’ve been talking to Australian creators – writers, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, curators and more – and conducting a survey to find out how they deal with Australia’s copyright rigidities. We are only asking questions about creators’ own practices, and we are still collecting data. But we’re already seeing patterns. And so far they are concerning for Australian national creativity, culture and identity. Click here for more.
Is Re-negotiating NAFTA Opening Pandora’s Box?
[Timothy Vollmer] This week Creative Commons submitted comments to [USTR] regarding negotiating objectives for the modernization of [NAFTA]. … We urged USTR to ensure that the copyright provisions in NAFTA should not be expanded to create new (and likely more onerous) rules than those that already exist in the agreement. If the copyright provisions must be reconsidered, a negotiating objective should at a minimum be to advocate for stronger protections for copyright limitations and exceptions; user rights should be granted a mandatory and enforceable standing alongside the rights of authors. In addition, the negotiations should be made through procedures that are transparent to the public and which include all stakeholders, especially the public. Click here for more.
A New Digital Trade Agenda: Are We Giving Away the Internet?
[Burcu Kilic and Renata Avila] As we enter the uncertain Trump era with respect to trade policies, one can only guess that big trade players will come back to the multilateral fora, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), as a reliable vehicle to foster their global trade agenda, especially as the free trade agreement (FTA) model fell apart after President Trump took office. Since the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are on hold, a return to the multilateral WTO offers the best chance of progress on e-commerce rules. Click here for more.
The Trump Executive Order on drug prices: not what was promised nor needed, and contrary to US self interest
[James Love] Emily Kopp has a big scoop for Kaiser Health News. She has obtained a six page document outlining the draft provisions or objectives of a proposed Presidential Executive Order (EO) on drug prices. She has shared some of the details, but only a few highlights, so the public still has limited information. The first of the “principles” and “talking points” she reported is as follows: “Extending the patent life of drugs in foreign markets to “provide for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.” This will ensure “that American consumers do not unfairly subsidize research and development for people throughout the globe.” Click here for the full post on medium.
Global Innovation Index Shows Innovation Momentum in Sub Saharan Africa
[Afro Leo, Afro-IP blog, Link (CC-BY)] Last week WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and their knowledge partners published their annual Global Innovation Index GII 2017. This index is a global benchmarking tool for determining the state of innovation on the globe. Its premise is that innovation is the key driver for economic growth and general prosperity. The GII is notable because it far more than a measure of R&D or levels of patenting. It covers and uses data from: 127 country/economy profiles, including data, ranks, and strengths and weaknesses; 81 data tables for indicators from over 30 international public and private sources, of which 57 are hard data; 19 composite indicators, and 5 survey questions; A transparent and replicable computation methodology including 90% confidence intervals for each index ranking (GII, output and input sub-indices) and an analysis of factors affecting year-on-year changes in rankings. Click here for more.
The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World
[WIPO, Cornell University and INSEAD] From the Global Innovation Index 2017, devoted to measuring the innovation performance of 127 economies and the theme ‘Innovation Feeding the World’, six messages emerge. Many of these messages are concerned with innovation as a driver of growth generally. One is concerned specifically with the role of innovation as a way to address the growing need for advances in agriculture and food value chains. Click here for more.
TRIPS Council Members: Defining IP Rights And The Public Interest
[Catherine Saez] … Intellectual property rights are often seen as a promoter of innovation through the lens of most developed countries, and as a potential barrier for developing countries, struggling to address public interest needs, in particular meeting their public health obligations. This week the intellectual property committee of the World Trade Organization discussed a new topic brought on by some developing countries, underlining the difficulties met by some in seeking to use the flexibilities provided by the WTO IP rules, in particular compulsory licences. Click here for the full story on IP Watch.