Draft Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa

[South African Department of Trade and Industry] The National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa calls for a greater emphasis on innovation, improved productivity, an intensive pursuit of a knowledge economy and the better exploitation of comparative and competitive advantages. Intellectual Property (IP) is an important policy instrument in promoting innovation, technology transfer, research and development (R&D), creative expression, consumer protection, industrial development and more broadly, economic growth. Click here for more.

NAFTA Renegotiation to Begin on Wednesday

[Mike Palmedo] The U.S, Mexico and Canada will begin renegotiating NAFTA this Wednesday at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington DC. Inside US Trade reports “initial talks will focus mostly on logistics and agenda-setting… Negotiators are expected to establish working groups for specific issue areas, identify their NAFTA-country counterparts and pinpoint the contentious issues that will take longer to negotiate. Negotiators will also exchange their priorities for the renegotiations, which could include agreeing on what issues will not be renegotiated. This will allow the negotiators to construct a chronology for the talks as they move forward.” Click here for more.

Why Fears About ‘Fair Use’ Copyright Law Are Unfounded

[Sean Flynn] …This week, Parliament has been hearing about fair use while it considers the Copyright Amendment Bill, part of which includes the introduction of a fair use right. Rights management organisations, which collect royalties from schools, venues and other organisations that use copyrighted works, are up in arms. A collection of these organisations and foreign media companies such as Sony Pictures, calling itself the Copyright Alliance, has claimed that fair use means: “No royalties will be paid to musicians if their music is used for educational purposes, so if [someone] uses [a song] in a school or an educational documentary, the artist who wrote the music will not get any royalties”; Academic writers of prescribed university books [will be put] in the position where a university buys one copy of the book and makes free copies for its 2,000 students, without compensating the author at all”. Click here for more.

See also:

  • Tusi Fokane in the Daily Maverick. “Bring Our Copyright Laws Int the Digital Age.” Link.
  • Sean Flynn in the Conversation. “South Africa Takes Steps to Adjust Copyright Law to the Digital Age.” Link.

EIFL, AfLIA and IFLA Call for the Removal of a Commercial Availability Test on the Making of Accessible Format Copies in Malawi

[Electronic Information for Libraries] [Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] Leading library organizations, EIFL, AfLIA (African Library and Information Associations and Institutions) and IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), call on Malawi to embrace the spirit of the Marrakesh Treaty by dropping a legal requirement to check if a work is commercially available before an accessible format copy can be made. An analysis by EIFL of Malawi’s copyright law, adopted in September 2016, shows that while the new law permits a range of library activities and services, complex conditions limit in practice what libraries in Malawi are permitted to do. Click here for more.

Data Commons for Food Security

[Jeremiah Baarbé, Meghan Blom, Jeremy de Beer] Executive Summary: Agricultural and nutritional data is an increasingly vital resource in the advancement and innovation of farmer organizations, food production, value chain development, and provision of services. Modern farmers rely on computational and precision agriculture to inform decisions. Datasets such as weather data, market price data, and agricultural inputs fuel these tools, which range from simple graphs to emerging artificial intelligence networks. Access to and use of such data can play a key role in addressing global food insecurity by “enabling better decision making, transparency and innovation”. With this growing recognition however, is the understanding that ownership rights remain a major factor in the access to and use of data, distinct from yet, as important, as the availability of education, skills, technology, infrastructure, and finances. Click here for more.

Information, Access, And Development: Setting A Course For The Sustainable Development Goals

[Gerald Leitner] Information is the raw material for decision-making. When individuals and groups make the right choices, based on good information, their chances of taking a full role in economic, social, cultural and civic life improve. They can better create and innovate, participate in politics, find and do their jobs well, and live healthily. Informed citizens and communities are also essential to the UN’s 2030 Agenda. We cannot have sustainable development when individuals are not able to deal with new choices and challenges autonomously, drawing on access to information. And we cannot have inclusive development, with no-one left behind, unless this access is real and meaningful for everyone. Click here for more.