The User Rights Database: Measuring the Impact of Copyright Balance

[Mike Palmedo] Today Sean Flynn and I are releasing the initial results of our research based on PIJIP’s Copyright User Rights Database. This research tool maps changes to copyright limitations and exceptions and other “user rights” from 1970 through 2016 in 21 countries of different development levels around the world. We intend to continue adding data from additional countries, but we feel that the current data allows us to begin demonstrating how differences in copyright user rights are associated with certain outcomes for innovative firms and researchers. Click here for more.

As We Celebrate Nigeria’s Ratification of the WCT, WPPT, The Beijing Treaty and Marrakesh Treaty…

[Desmond Oriakhogba] …Nigeria has now accepted and undertaken to respect and implement the obligations under these treaties. However, the treaties do not have any force of law within the Nigerian territory unless domesticated (s12 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999) either by an enforcement and domestication Act or by including its provisions in the Copyright Act, Cap C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 through an amendment. This piece argues that as we celebrate the ratification of the treaties, there is, however, a great need to pause and ponder on the effect of implementing ‘the standards stipulated in the treaties’ in Nigeria. What impact will the standards in the treaties have on creativity, innovation and access to information for educational purposes in Nigeria? Put broadly, what effect will they have on the knowledge economy and the overall development in Nigeria? Click here for more.

Exploring Patent Barriers to Cancer Treatment Access in South Africa

[Catherine Tomlinson, Heather Moyo, Zain Rizvi, Claire Waterhouse, Salomé Meyer and Marcus Low] This study seeks to investigate how South Africa’s patent laws influence access to cancer medicines by analysing the patent status and length, affordability of, and access to 24 case study medicines. Our research demonstrates that South Africa routinely grants and upholds patents that could have been challenged and rejected if South Africa adopted strong patentability criteria, patent examination processes and opposition procedures. Overlapping secondary patents create significant legal uncertainty regarding the patent status of medicines, disincentivise the entry of generic or biosimilar products, and hinder the affordability and accessibility of the medicines to patients in need. Click here for more.

See also:  Patient groups march for access to medicines in South Africa. Press release by Fix the Patent Laws! Link.

Digital v. Analogue: Reconceptualising the Orphan Works Problem for Cultural Heritage Institutions

[Susan Corbett] Abstract: For cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) the divide between material and immaterial is epitomised by the impact of digital technologies. Ideally, in line with theories of cultural property and the objectives of CHIs, CHIs should be able to make use of the enhanced opportunities provided by digital technologies for effective archiving and preservation and for increased public accessibility to their collections. In practice however due to large numbers of works that are copyright orphan works in their collections, CHIs are legally unable to do this because effective digital archiving requires that many copies be made of the physical item. Click here for more.

Canadian Copyright, OA, and OER: Why the Open Access Road Still Leads Back to Copyright

[Michael Geist] It is open access week and this year I had the honour of delivering the keynote address at a terrific open access event co-sponsored by the Ryerson University Library and Archives and the University of Toronto Libraries. My talk – which can be viewed in full here or from the embed below – starts with a review of the remarkable success of open access over the past 15 years, but quickly shifts toward the continuing connection between balanced copyright and open access. Click here for more.