Which “Brazil” Will Chair The Marrakesh Treaty Assembly?

[Allan Rocha de Souza]  The supposedly impossible happened: The Marrakesh Treaty entered into force on 30 September, three months after reaching the necessary minimum of 20 ratifications. By then, 22 countries had done so – two more did so during the Marrakesh Assembly. It is the first Treaty to recognize beyond any shadow of doubt that the limitations are essential parts of the copyright system, necessary to its balance and even survival, and, as put by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, the Marrakesh Treaty “can now begin boosting the number of specially adapted texts for the benefit of blind and otherwise print-disabled people around the world.” Click here for more.

Copyright Industry Experts Signal “High Water Mark” in IP in Trade Agreements

[Sean Flynn] Senior copyright industry experts described the Trans Pacific Partnership and other recent free trade agreements as likely setting a “high water mark” for intellectual property commitments in trade agreements. The statements came as part of a symposium last week on Trading in IP: Copyright Treaties and International Trade Agreements sponsored by Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts. Click here for more.

TRIPS-Plus, Public Health and Performance-Based Rewards Schemes Options and Supplements for Policy Formation in Developing and Least Developed Countries

[Mohammed El-Said] The debate surrounding the creation of a balanced patent protection regime in countries is not new. For decades, policy makers experimented with the levels of protection. For example, the Netherlands abolished patents in the field of chemistry for decades between 1869 and 1910, in order to catch up with other European countries such as Germany. Similarly, between 1960 and 1980 a number of Asian economies—often referred to as the Tiger economies—adopted a systematic national policy of reverse engineering and imitation. Click here for more.

Creative Commons Ireland Submission on EU Copyright Reform

[Darius Whelan and Louise Crowley] Creative Commons Ireland has today submitted a letter to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation concerning the EU’s new proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market … Some of the main points in the letter are as follows: The proposed ancillary copyright (“link tax”) would have a negative impact on online sharing and should be removed; The education exception should be broadened beyond formal educational establishments; The Text and Data Mining exception should be available to the private sector as well as to non-profits; Rather than a licensing system for use of out-of-commerce works by cultural heritage institutions, a better solution would be an exception for the use of such works; The proposal to require internet platforms to monitor content should be removed; There should be a mandatory exception regarding freedom of panorama; A general exception should be introduced to make copyright law more adaptable to new uses and technologies over time. Click here for more.

An Open Letter to the Sixteen Governments Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

[Joint letter signed by 95 health, community and development organisations in the Asia Pacific region] … The RCEP includes an intellectual property (IP) chapter with measures that threaten access to life saving essential medicines. Even though it does not include the United States, many of the provisions appear to have been borrowed from the US-Korea free trade agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. Click here for more.

See also: See also: Open letter to the Ambassadors of RCEP-Negotiating Countries from the Delhi Network of Positive People. Link.

55 Civil Society Organizations Ask US Government to Allow Export of Affordable Version of Expensive Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi

[Zach Struver] Today, over 50 patient, senior citizen, global health, development, social justice, and faith groups urged the United States Government to use its rights to protect public health and accept the request by a Canadian generic drug manufacturer (Biolyse Pharma) to enter into an agreement to manufacture and export an affordable version of the taxpayer-funded prostate cancer drug enzalutamide to South Africa and other countries with low per-capita incomes relative to the United States. Click here for the full post on keionline.org.

EIFL Calls for an International Treaty to Support Libraries’ Public Service Mission

[Electronic Information for Libraries, Excerpt from blog on WIPO G.A.] …On the future work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) that is discussing limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives, EIFL reaffirmed the call for an international treaty to protect the public service mission of libraries. EIFL welcomed the fact that the European Union’s copyright reform package, launched in September 2016, includes mandatory, cross-border exceptions in three key areas (preservation by cultural heritage institutions, text and data mining and online education), and appealed to the multilateral system to also address important cross-border issues so that the digital access divide among countries is not widened. Click here for more.

Why Copyright Reform Won’t Solve the Troubles Faced By the Newspaper Industry

[Michael Geist] Last week, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of its study on the future of media. The committee has heard from dozens of witnesses and one of the surprising themes has been the emphasis on copyright reform as a potential solution to the newspaper industry’s woes. My opening remarks, which are posted below, warn against the reforms, including the prospect of new taxes on Internet services or linking as a source of revenue for the industry. Instead, I point to several potential policies including an ad-free online CBC, sales taxes for digital services, and non-profit funding models for investigative journalism. Click here for more.

Indian Generic Firms Capturing Larger Share of U.S. Drug Imports

[Mike Palmedo] India is often called the “pharmacy of the developing world” because its pharmaceutical firms provide a large portion of the generic drugs consumed in the South. However, Northern countries are increasingly importing Indian drugs as well, as high prices have led to greater generic uptake. As an example, the United States has greatly expanded the amount of medicines it buys from India. UN Comtrade data shows that last year, 20% of U.S. pharmaceutical imports by quantity came from India, up from a negligible 0.002% in 1996. Click here for more.

How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet

[Jeremy Malcolm] Americans pay by far the highest prices in the world for most prescription drugs, and of course big pharma would like to keep it that way. Key measures that the industry relies upon in this regard are the Prescription Drug Marketing Act [PDF] and Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act [PDF], which make it unlawful for most Americans to access lower-priced drugs from overseas, coupled with the powers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to seize such drugs at the border on their own initiative. Click here for more.

U.S. Copyright Office Request for Comments for Section 1201 Study

[Mike Palmedo] The U.S. Copyright Office is requesting comments on Section 1201 of Title 17, which governs the circumvention of copyright protection systems.  The deadline for submitting comments is October 27. …The Copyright Office’s federal register notice includes three specific areas of inquiry (though interested parties may address “any other pertinent issues” related to Section 1201). Click here for more.