Creative Commons and Copyright Reform
[CC Policy Statement] Creative Commons (CC) has enabled a new approach to copyright licensing over the last ten years. CC licenses facilitate novel social, educational, technological, and business practices, and support productive relationships around networked knowledge and culture. We are dedicated stewards of our licenses and tools, and we educate users, institutions, and policymakers about the positive benefits of adopting CC licenses. Our licenses will always provide voluntary options for creators who wish to share their material on more open terms than current copyright systems allow. But the CC vision — universal access to research and education and full participation in culture — will not be realized through licensing alone. Click here for more.
Academics’ Joint Submission on South Africa’s National IP Policy
[Caroline Ncube] Following the University of Cape Town’s invitation to crowd-source comments on the draft national IP policy, several scholars jointly submitted comments on the draft IP policy yesterday. It is couched in a sympathetic and constructive yet critical manner as its authors applaud the initiative to begin national dialogue on the IP policy while calling for an extensive and rigorous engagement with the process going forward. The submission is in the nature of an outline document – it comments on the broad issues of principle, and indicates where its authors find the draft policy desirable or undesirable. It also contains some recommendations which it suggests should be enacted through the amendment of relevant IP legislation. Click here for more.
PIJIP Non-SDO Patent Commitments
[Jorge Contreras] There has been a surge of interest lately in commitments to license patents on terms that are “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND). The patents at issue in these cases often cover industry standards that were developed in collaborative trade associations known as standards-development organizations (SDOs). But while the principal focus of litigants and regulators in recent years has been on patent commitments made within SDOs, parties have increasingly made voluntary public patent statements and commitments in less formal settings… As a service to the standards research community, PIJIP has established a new public web resource listing and describing non-SDO patent commitments. The site, which was launched this week, already includes 62 different non-SDO patent statements and commitments covering thousands of patents. We hope to continue to add information to the site, and invite the submission of additional non-SDO patent statements and commitments by the public. Click here for more.
Does hyperlinking require rightholders’ permission? ALAI says …
[Eleonora Rosati] As Jeremy reported on The 1709 Blog a couple of days ago, last month the Executive Committee of the Association Littéraire at Artistique Internationale (ALAI) [Victor Hugo founded it in 1878] unanimously adopted a “Report and Opinion on the making available and communication to the public in the internet environment – focus on linking techniques on the Internet”. Click here for more.
Using Law to Accelerate Treatment Access in South Africa: An Analysis of Patent, Competition and Medicines Law
[UN Development Programme] This study focuses on policy options available to South Africa through reform of three interrelated areas of law affecting access to HIV treatment and other essential medicines: patent, competition and medicines law. The recommended reforms are aimed at safeguarding public health by optimizing the use of public health related TRIPS (the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities and therefore, the policy space available to countries within their international legal obligations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Potential drawbacks and challenges are highlighted, as are strategies for adoption that draw on the experiences of other low- and middle-income countries. Click here for more.
DRM Misuse: An Emerging Doctrine in Search for Principles
[Nicolo Zingales] The advent of the digital age and the wide diffusion of copyrighted works over the Internet have brought about a drastic challenge to the pre-existing rules and legal standards governing the exchange of information. This article points out one of the ways the development of these new technologies has altered the boundaries of copyright, specifically by enabling copyright holders to strategically expand the scope of protection through a strategic use of Digital Rights Management (hereinafter, DRM). After a brief account of the qualities of these technologies and their contribution to the development of online markets for copyrighted works, the article warns against the common practice of using DRM as a tool to stretch the legal protection conferred by IP law. Click here for the full abstract and paper on SSRN.