Comments to the South African Parliament on the Copyright Amendment Act (B-13-2017)

PIJIP has updated its page on the legislative process underway to reform South Africa’s copyright law. It now includes links to videos of presentations by Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, Meshendri Padayachy, Sean Flynn, Denise Nicholson, Charmaine Mrwebi, Nothando Migogo and Jacques Allers at the Roundtable on Copyright hosted by FXI, DTI and Google. It also includes op-eds, news reports, and 23 written comments submitted to parliament. Click here for the webpage.

Letter from 20 Civil Society Groups to NAFTA Negotiators, re: Transparency and Intellectual Property Provisions

We, the undersigned, are Internet freedom and public interest advocates drawn from all three nations party to this agreement, who are dedicated to the rights of all peoples to access cultural and educational resources, to enjoy a free and open Internet, and to benefit from open and needs-driven innovation. As the United States, Mexico and Canada begin talks on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this week, we write to share our concerns about NAFTA’s potential impact on the critical functions of the Internet and its potential to threaten access to information, the dissemination of news, cultural exchange and democratic organizing. Click here for more.

Indian Patent Office Delivers Major Blow to Affordable Pneumonia Vaccine Hopes

[Médecins Sans Frontières] Hopes for improved access to an affordable pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) that safeguards both children and adults from pneumonia was dealt a major blow after the Indian patent office granted a patent to the US pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer for its PCV13 product, marketed as Prevnar13. …The granting of this patent would block other manufacturers in India from supplying this vaccine – which protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria (PCV-13) – to those who need it most. According to Leena Menghaney, South Asia Head for MSF’s Access Campaign, “The method Pfizer is trying to patent is too obvious to deserve a patent under Indian law, and is just a way to guarantee an extended market monopoly for the corporation for many years to come.” Click here for more on

USTR Begins Section 301 Investigation of China’s Policies on Tech Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

[Mike Palmedo] On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative announced its Section 301 investigation of China’s “acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.” As part of the investigation, it is accepting comments from the public, which are due by September 28. The initiation of the investigation follows President Trump’s August 14 memo on intellectual property, which noted that “China’s conduct “may inhibit United States exports, deprive United States citizens of fair remuneration for their innovations, divert American jobs to workers in China, contribute to our trade deficit with China, and otherwise undermine American manufacturing, services, and innovation.” Click here for more.

Court Orders Aussie ISPs to Block Dozens of Pirate Sites

[Ernesto] Following two new court orders issued today, Australian Internet providers must block dozens of additional pirate sites. The new blockades were requested by Foxtel and Village Roadshow, and cover many of the most used pirate sources, including Gomovies, RARBG, 1337x and EZTV. Creative Content Australia warns that people who bypass the blocks could easily run into malware, viruses and other nastiness. Rather than taking site operators to court, copyright holders increasingly demand that Internet providers should block access to ‘pirate’ domains. As a result, courts all around the world have ordered ISPs to block subscriber access to various pirate sites. Click here for more.