Canada’s Accession to Marrakesh Treaty Brings Treaty into Force

[WIPO Press Release] Canada today became the key 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will bring the Treaty into force in three month’s time on September 30, 2016. “This is great news for people with visual impairments and for the multilateral intellectual property system. The Marrakesh Treaty will, when widely adopted throughout the world, create the framework for persons who are blind and visually impaired to enjoy access to literacy in a much more equal and inclusive way,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “I urge as many countries as possible to ratify the Treaty so that its benefits can be widely enjoyed throughout the world.” Click here for more.

Access To Medicines Resolution Adopted By UN Human Rights Council

[Catherine Saez] A resolution on access to medicines proposed by a number of developing countries was adopted today by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as a resolution on enhancing capacity-building in public health. This marks yet another United Nations fora in which developing countries seek to raise the issue of access to medicines, particularly with regard to high prices. Click here for more.

Freedom of Expression and Intermediary Liability

[Excerpt from the Final Report of the Global commission on Internet Governance] … Content intermediaries are evolving institutions. As a result, government policy makers are struggling to understand these new roles and to determine whether and how to legislate or regulate new behaviours in this nascent and fast-changing industry. The situation is further complicated by the transnational reach of these intermediaries. The concept of Internet intermediary liability has emerged as a way to regulate or require the takedown of harmful or illegal content. Intermediary liability can be applied in a variety of contexts, including: copyright infringements, digital piracy, trademark disputes, network management, spamming and phishing, cybercrime, defamation, hate speech, child pornography, censorship or privacy protection. Click here for more.

See also: Ernesto on TorrentFreak. We’re Not Liable for Pirating Subscribers, Windstream Tells Court. Link.

Evidence-based Intellectual Property Policymaking

[Jeremy deBeer] The intellectual property system is a crucial part of economic policymaking worldwide. It affects matters of profound importance, including health, education, nutrition, culture, science, technology and innovation policy. One might assume, therefore, that the global governance of intellectual property rights rests on a solid foundation of evidence. Think again. For over a century, intellectual property policy has been based largely on theoretical assumptions and political lobbying. Click here for more.

Americans Deserve the Truth About Lower-Cost Prescriptions

[Gabriel Levitt’ Prescription drug prices are the number one healthcare concern in America. In 2014, 35 million Americans did not fill a prescription due to cost. According to a survey conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Foundation, more than half of all Americans who do not take prescription medications because of cost report becoming sicker. This means that potentially 17.5 million Americans become sicker each year because they can’t afford their prescription medication. As a result of high drug prices, and despite federal prohibitions, millions of Americans are importing prescribed medications: about four million a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Are these Americans putting their health at risk or just buying lower cost medication? Click here for more.

Licensed to Fail:  How Licensing Ended ‘Established and Respected’ International Document Supply Service

[Teresa Hackett] Document delivery is a vital service in meeting the particular information needs of individual researchers, students and scholars. On 1 July 2016 the British Library (BL), one of the world’s largest research libraries, terminated its international non-commercial document delivery service just four-and-a-half years after it became licence-based. New data obtained by EIFL under Freedom of Information requests document the reasons behind the decline of the “established and respected” service that, until 2012, had been meeting the needs of researchers around the world for five decades under a copyright exception. The demise of the British Library service illustrates how licensing, far from delivering greater resources to professionals and scholars, has failed them. It reaffirms that international document delivery for non-commercial purposes should be regulated by copyright law, not by licence. Click here for more.

Academic Submission in Response to the Australian Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into IP Arrangements Draft Report

[Isabella Alexander, Catherine Bond, Kathy Bowrey, Robert Burrell, Michael Handler, Graham Greenleaf, Dianne Nicol, Jane L Nielsen, and Kimberlee G. Weatherall ]  This Submission by nine intellectual property academics responds to the Draft Report in the Inquiry into IP Arrangements published by the Australian Productivity Commission on 29 April 2016 (‘Draft Report’). In broad terms, the submission supports many of the goals of, and recommendations of, the Productivity Commission expressed in the Draft Report, but expresses concerns that some recommendations may not achieve the overall goals of the Commission, or reflect misunderstandings of the statutory framework. The submission addresses many of the Commission’s draft recommendations concerning copyright, patents, trade marks and geographical indicators, IP and public institutions, and IP’s institutional and governance arrangements. Click here for more.