Call for Papers: AUILR Focus Issue on International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy
[PIJIP] American University Washington College of Law’s Program and Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the American University International Law Review (“AUILR”) seek submissions for a AUILR Focus Issue on International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy. A symposium for the issue will be held on March 18, 2016. Scholarships are available for accepted authors. Click here for more.
Students, Food Insecurity, OER
[Meera Nair] … The trope of the starving author is a familiar one in the realm of copyright lobbying. Every expansion of copyright (beginning with its establishment in the 18th century) has included references to writers who needed copyright protection to survive. (Yet even in those days, not every writer agreed with publishers’ pronouncements on this matter.) If authors are still struggling after 300 years of relentless expansion of copyright’s ambit, perhaps copyright is neither the problem nor the solution. Moreover, there is another segment of society where money is tight, or tighter still, and food insecurity is real. …Year after year, the difficulties facing post-secondary students are covered in the press. Click here for more.
Will the U.S. Create Barriers to LDCs’ Future Access to Medicines?
[Brook Baker] Earlier this year, WTO Least Developed Country Members requested an unconditional extension of the expiring WTO TRIPS transition period that exempts them from having to implement pharmaceutical patents and other intellectual property protections that constrain their ability to make or procure low-cost generic medicines. Informed sources indicate that the U.S. is currently opposing the LDC draft extension. While the exact US government position has not yet been made public, it seems likely from past US positions that the US Trade Representative might be opposing several of the most important elements of LDC request that make the extension truly meaningful for access to medicines. Click here for more.
The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement’s Impact on Australia’s Copyright Trade Policy
[Kimberlee Weatherall] Abstract: The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) required extensive changes to Australian copyright law. This paper assesses the impact of these changes one decade on. It considers, first, whether the costs and/or benefits predicted in 2004 have eventuated, finding clear evidence that AUSFTA has undesirably constrained domestic copyright policy, but no clear evidence either of the feared financial costs to society, or, importantly, the touted benefits to copyright owners. The most significant impact of AUSFTA’s copyright provisions, however, appears to have been their impact on Australia’s copyright trade policy. Click here for more.
Users to USTR: Don’t Sign Away Our Ability to Fix the Orphan Works Problem
[Maira Sutton] The United States’ excessive copyright terms have led to an orphan works crisis in this country. Tens of thousands of books, films, music recordings, and other cultural works across decades have been made completely inaccessible by copyright’s strict monopoly, which can last more than 140 years. That casts a shroud of legal uncertainty over orphan works—works where the author or rightsholder cannot be identified or located—which makes using, preserving, or sharing them risky and essentially renders them culturally invisible and forbidden… EFF has joined as signatory to a letter that calls on the U.S. Trade Representative not to agree to any provisions in the TPP that could prevent Congress from enacting fixes to address the orphan works problem. Other signatories to the letter are Authors Alliance, Creative Commons, Knowledge Ecology International, and New Media Rights. Click here for more on eff.org.
Patents and Human Rights: The Paradox Reexamined
[Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss] Abstract: The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights is tackling the difficult task of reconciling the provision in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizing that “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author” with the right “to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” Click here for more.
White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Seeking Comments on Joint Strategic Plan for IP Enforcement
The White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) has issued a request for comments to inform the drafting of the next Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The notice “invites public input and participation in shaping the Federal Government’s intellectual property enforcement strategy for 2016–2019.” … Comments are due October 16, 2015. Click here for more.