Important Win for Fair Use in ‘Dancing Baby’ Lawsuit: Appeals Court Affirms That Copyright Owners Must Consider Fair Use in Online Takedowns

[Electronic Frontier Foundation] An appeals court in San Francisco today affirmed that copyright holders must consider whether a use of material is fair before sending a takedown notice. The ruling came in Lenz v. Universal, often called the “dancing baby” lawsuit.  Click here for more.

Upcoming Kenyan Copyright Amendments to Target Local Internet Service Providers Hosting Infringing Content

[Mike Palmedo] The Kenya Copyright Board (KEBCO) is preparing to propose amendments to the Copyright Act that would block sites hosting content which infringes local creators’ copyrights. Local internet service providers that refuse to take down content would face fines and even prison sentences. KEBCO’s webpage notes that the new rules should “come into play by the end of the year… The laws will be ready for public discussions next month before they go to Parliament.” Click here for more.

Copyright as an Access Right, Securing Cultural Participation Through the Protection of Creators’ Interests

[Christophe Geiger] Abstract:  Copyright, originally conceived as a tool to protect the author and to provide incentives to create for the benefit of society, is nowadays more and more perceived as a mechanism to the advantage of “large, impersonal and unlovable corporations”. The inherent social dimension of copyright law has progressively been lost of sight by policy makers to the benefit of strictly individualistic, even egotistic conceptions. In the recent discourse on the strengthening of legal means of protection, copyright is more frequently presented as an investment-protection mechanism than a vehicle of cultural and social progress… These developments urgently attest the need to rethink copyright in order to adapt its rules to its initially dual character 1) of a right to secure and organize cultural participation and access to creative works (access aspect); and 2) of a guarantee that the creator participates fairly in the fruit of the commercial exploitation of his (or her) works (protection aspect). Click here for more.

Update on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement – NGO briefing

[Belinda Townsend, Pat Ranald and Deborah Gleeson] Leaked negotiating texts by Japan and South Korea for an intellectual property (IP) chapter in RCEP are particularly alarming. The two countries appear to act as a proxy for the international pharmaceutical industry by seeking stringent IP measures that go beyond those required in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS) and that are similar to some aspects of the leaked TPP IP chapter. Click here for more.

The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement’s Impact on Australia’s Copyright Trade Policy

[Kimberlee G. 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.

MSF Response to EC Announcement on Least Developed Country Extension on WTO Intellectual Property Rules

[Médecins Sans Frontières] Statement by Rohit Malpani, Director of Policy & Analysis, MSF Access Campaign, 10 September, 2015: “MSF welcomes today’s announcement by Commissioner Malmstrom that the European Commission will fully support all aspects of the request by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for a waiver of implementing the TRIPS Agreement as it relates to pharmaceuticals until such countries are no longer LDCs. We hope that the EU Member States in the Council swiftly follow suit. We applaud this important change in the EU position since the last time this issue was discussed at the WTO. Click here for the full statement.

See also:  Letter from US access to medicines groups to the USTR and USPTO demanding that the US announce its position on the LDC request. Link.

European Copyright Society position paper on the Opinion of the Advocate General in the case HP Belgium v Reprobel

[European Copyright Society] On June 11, 2015, the Advocate-General Pedro Cruz Villalón delivered his Opinion in the HP Belgium v. Reprobel case now pending before the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU, case C-572/13). This Opinion and the underlying case raise one important issue: Is it permissible for a national copyright law to allocate a portion of the fair compensation for reproductions exempted under Article 5(2)(a) and (b) of the 2001/29 Infosoc Directive directly to publishers, although they are not listed among the initial holders of the reproduction right under Article 2 of the Infosoc Directive? Click here for more.