TPP Negotiators Meet in Atlanta for (Final?) Talks

Trans Pacific Partnership negotiators are meeting this week in Atlanta, Georgia.  Negotiating teams are trying to minimize differences now in order to queue up a meeting of Chief Negotiators beginning the 30th.  The stated goal is to close negotiations this week, but a decent list of outstanding issues are still controversial, including copyright limitations and data protection for biologics.  Below are a sample of recent statements and commentary linked to this week’s negotiations:

  • Sander Levin. Memo to Democratic members of the House Advisory Group on Negotiations. RE: Meeting with USTR Michael Froman on the TPP. Link.
  • Carlos Correa. Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Increasing the Barriers for the Access to Affordable Medicines.
  • Maira Sutton. New Open Letter Calls on TPP Negotiators to Stand Up for User Safeguards.
  • Inside U.S. Trade (may be password protected).  Obama Pushes For Flexibility On Key Issues In Calls With TPP Leaders.

Research confirms: new Spanish ancillary copyright is actually good for no one

[Paul Keller] …the Spanish Association of Publishers of Periodical Publications (AEEPP) decided to release a study on the impact of the Spanish ancillary copyright on the 9th of July when half of Europe was already in (pre)vacation mode … The new study, which was commissioned by the AEEPP and carried out by NERA consulting, confirms most of the concerns raised by opponents of the ancillary right. Based on comScore data for the first 3 months of 2015 the study finds that the closing of Google News (and a number of smaller news aggregation services) that followed the introduction of the new law has led to a (predictable) decline of internet traffic directed at Spanish newspapers: Traffic to newspaper sites has dropped more than 6% on average and 14% for small publications. Click here for more.

At Obama-Modi Meeting in New York, MSF Urges India to Protect Affordable Medicines for Millions

[Médecins Sans Frontières] As US President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi meet in New York today, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that US pressure for India to change its intellectual property policies could result in millions of people around the world losing their lifeline of affordable medicines. MSF relies on affordable generic medicines produced in India to do its medical work in more than 60 countries, and therefore urged Modi to stand strong and protect India’s role as the ‘pharmacy of the developing world.’ Click here for more.

European Migrant Crisis: Czech Teachers Create and Share Resources

[Jan Gondol]…The teachers worked on developing the materials for Czech schools, and the resulting worksheets are now shared on their website (in the Czech language). These worksheets are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0, and there are different versions for ages 6-11 and ages 12-16. “This activity shows that open educational resources can help react to a new situation very quickly in a way traditional textbooks cannot,” says Tamara Kováčová, coordinator of EDUin’s open education program. “Because of fast distribution, materials get to schools around the country in a matter of days. Teachers get support in time when they need it and teaching is up-to-date. Furthermore, it’s possible to join several school subjects together on phenomenon based learning principle.” Click here for more.

A Story of Dirty Emissions … and Copyright Law

[Mitchell Hartmann] Squirreled away in something called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 is fine-print that makes it risky to dig around under the hood of a new car and find out what makes it tick, explains Kit Walsh of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The modern automobile is controlled by about 100 different computers running software, created by the automakers or third parties that they contract with,” says Walsh. “And they typically will lock down that software so that you can’t even look at it, let alone modify it as a user.” So, imagine you’re an engineering graduate student or a consumer advocate or a curious mechanic, and you want to examine that software code: for instance, to check out what’s coming out of the tailpipe, or if the airbags are safe, or if some hacker with a smartphone can take control of the dashboard and crash your car into a wall. Walsh says you might think twice about breaking the lock, circumventing the encryption, and revealing what you find. “Congress made it unlawful to circumvent the encryption that protects access to that work,” he says. Click here for the full story on

RIAA CEO: Piracy Notices Are Costly and Increasingly Pointless

[Andy] The CEO and chairman of the RIAA says that the current notice and takedown anti-piracy process is both costly and increasingly pointless. Cary Sherman says the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA have forced labels into a “never-ending game” of whack-a-mole while sites under its protection effectively obtain a discount music licensing system. Click here for more.