Vietnam’s Decree 72 on Internet Services Aims to Fight Piracy, Raises Human Rights Concerns

[Mike Palmedo] Vietnam’s controversial new “Decree 72 on the Management, Provision and Use of Internet Services and Online Information” went into effect on September 1.  As reported in VOA by Marianne Brown, “Critics say the new rules are aimed at stifling speech online and could discourage businesses from operating in Vietnam. But the government says the measures are aimed at protecting intellectual property and fighting plagiarism.” Last week, A U.S. State Department spokesperson issued a statement warning that “Decree 72 appears to be inconsistent with Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Click here for more.

The Survey Bay, a Searchable Database Covering the Pirate Bay Community

[Marcin de Kaminiski]  In 2011 we at the Cybernorms Research Group decided to try an interesting way to deeper understand the file-sharing community. In cooperation with The Pirate Bay we did a study called “The Research Bay” targeting their user-base. The response was huge; 75.000 respondents and over 25000 open answers. Today we are releasing that data to be openly searchable for all. Today we (kind of proudly) present The Survey Bay. The data – which in some cases has been edited in order to protect the privacy of the respondent – is released under a CC-BY license, meaning that it can be used in any possible way as long as the Cybernorms Research Group (and when referred to in academic publications an article of ours covering a brief overview of the data) is mentioned properly.  Click here for more.

Comment to the Bureau of Land Management Regarding Trade Secrecy in Proposed Rulemaking for Fracking on Federal Lands

[Mary L. Lyndon and David S. Levine] We, the undersigned law professors who teach and write about intellectual property and trade secrets, write in opposition to the proposed Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) regulations of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”) contained in the Federal Register dated May 24, 2013, particularly proposed regulations 3 CFR 3162.3–3(j)(1) through (4) (the “Regulations”). As we understand them, in sum, the Regulations would allow entities engaged in hydraulic fracturing to withhold purported chemical information trade secrets from the BLM, and by extension, the public. Click here for more.

Threat on Generic Medicines, the European Union Ignores It

[ACT-UP Paris] EU has just modified its legislation on the customs control concerning the enforcement of “intellectual property” rights, not considering that it impedes the legitimate trade of generic medicines in Developing countries… These past few years, several shipments of generic medicines routing through the EU have been seized under the pretext of infringing “intellectual property”, even though these medicines were not under patents in the source or destination countries. For example, a shipment of Losartan (medication used to treat high blood pressure), coming from India and headed to Brazil, was seized in Rotterdam. India and Brazil had then protested to the EU and World Trade Organization (WTO), denouncing repeated, abusive practices. As a matter of fact, in 2008 alone, 17 shipments containing generic medicines were seized by Dutch authorities. Click here for more.

Innovation and Incarceration: An Economic Analysis of Criminal Intellectual Property Law

[Christopher Buccafusco and Jonathan Masur]This Article offers an economic analysis of the use of criminal liability in two areas of IP: copyright law and patent law. Our goal is to analyze the relative costs and benefits of criminal sanctions for IP violations. Economic analysis is particularly appropriate to this discussion for a number of reasons. Copyright and patent law are widely recognized as resting on utilitarian foundations of promoting social welfare by incentivizing investment in informational goods. They do this by providing exclusive rights to creators of IP that allow them to charge prices for use that are above marginal cost. Yet IP’s commitment to incentives to create must be balanced by the costs that those rights have for others who want to use or further develop the works and inventions that have been created. Economic analysis’s explicit focus on utilitarian welfare calculus, which compares the costs and benefits of legal rules, can aid in striking the correct balance. Click here for more.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry Address: Re-Thinking Intellectual Property

[Francis Gurry] The context in which intellectual property (IP) operates in the contemporary world is vastly different from the one in which IP was born. The new context has changed the position of IP both in the economy and in society. It calls equally for a change in the way in which we think about IP and its role. Click here for the full speech.