South Africa Copyright Amendment Bill – Comments & Consultations
[Caroline Ncube] As reported by Jeremy Speres (here) South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill, 2015 has been published for public comment. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lined up several stakeholder consultations… Stakeholders are also running with several initiatives to feed into the consultations. For instance, six university and civil society groups hosted a meeting on Tuesday 11 August with DTI and Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) officials and other stakeholders in Pretoria on the Bill. The well- attended meeting discussed the majority of the proposed reforms. Click here for more.
At the Intersection of Public Service and the Market: Libraries and the Future of Lending
[Rebecca Giblin and Kimberlee G. Weatherall] Abstract: For the most part, library uses of physical objects embodying copyright protected works occur outside the purview of copyright and of the market. Loan of physical books falls outside the copyright owner’s exclusive rights; uses that might otherwise invoke them, such as the making of copies for interlibrary loans, have been explicitly carved out through exceptions. Authors are remunerated for Australian library uses via statutory public lending rights, which use distinctly non-market considerations in distribution. That all changes when works take digital form. Click here for more.
Preliminary Analysis of Biologics Exclusivity in the Leaked Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Text
[Sanya Reid Smith] Biologics at monopoly prices are extremely expensive and are a growing share of medicines, including life-saving medicines. The latest leaked TPP IP chapter proposes a monopoly of up to 12 years for biologics, even when they are not patented. Therefore what is defined as a ‘biologic’ that gets this exclusivity period for up to 7 years longer than chemical medicines in the leaked TPP IP chapter is very important. Click here for more.
See also: Jing Luo and Aaron S. Kesselheim. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Implications for Access to Essential Medicines. Journal of the American Medical Association. Link.
Portugal: “Voluntary” Agreement Against Copyright Infringements
[Maryant Fernández Pérez] On 30 July 2015, copyright and related rights-holders associations… and (unidentified) consumer associations agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at protecting copyright and related rights online… the agreement will allow the signatory copyright associations to notify MAPINET of websites that contain either a minimum of 500 works which allegedly infringe copyright and/or content providers’ rights, or sites that contain two-thirds allegedly infringing contents. MAPINET will be in charge of gathering the evidence submitted by the associations and will forward a maximum of two wide-ranging complaints to IGAC per month. IGAC then contacts Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to restrict access to the websites through “Domain Name System (DNS) blocking” within 15 working days. It is reported that the blocks expire after a year, unless IGAC determines otherwise. Additionally, the affected websites will be excluded from carrying advertisements. Click here for more.
USTR Requests Comments for 2016 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
[Mike Palmedo] The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a request for comments for the 2016 National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers. This is an annual report in which USTR seeks to identify “significant barriers to U.S. exports of goods, services, and U.S. foreign direct investment.” The notice suggests that “commenters should submit information related to one or more of the following categories of foreign trade barriers … (4) Lack of intellectual property protection (e.g., inadequate patent, copyright, and trademark regimes);” Comments are open to the public, and should be submitted electronically by October 28, 2015. Click here for more.
MSF Statement on RCEP Trade Negotiations in Kuala Lumpur
[Médecins Sans Frontières] As the trade ministers of the 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meet in Kuala Lumpur this week to finalise provisions in the deal, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for the removal of damaging intellectual property provisions in the deal that would risk locking in high drug prices and endangering the health of millions of people across the globe. Click here for the full press release.
Trans Pacific Partnership: IT Professionals Re-Raise Concerns About Software Patents
[New Zealand Institute of IT Professionals] Ian Taylor, President of New Zealand’s largest IT representative body … has written to Trade Minister Tim Groser re-raising concerns about the possible impact of TPP on the technology industry. In the letter, Taylor made the point that the IT industry was now not just an industry of itself, but underpinned the innovations occurring across the economy. IT has experienced huge growth in recent years which was set to continue, and matters impacting technology had a flow-on impact to all industries; including those at the heart of today’s economy such as wool, meat and dairy. Recent commentary has suggested that New Zealand’s position removing the patentability of software, the result of Patents Act reforms in 2013, might be under threat due to TPP. Software Patents are seen by many within the industry as a major threat to innovation. Click here for the full press release.
A Comparative Analysis of the Three-Step Tests in International Treaties
[Andrew F. Christie and Robin W. Wright] Abstract: Much of the literature on the three-step test focuses on its implementation in relation to one particular intellectual property regime only, usually copyright. That approach tends to limit analysis of the test to a comparison of the different steps of the test with each other. Such an approach is valuable, but it does not provide the full picture. What is missing is a comparison of the same step within the different versions of the test. Click here for more.