Ethics, Evolved: An International Perspective on Copying in the Networked Age

[American University] The AU School of Communications Faculty Forum, and the AU Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property will host a talk by Professor Aram Sinnreich in which he will discuss  his paper Ethics, Evolved: An International Perspective on Copying in the Networked Age. Professor Sinnreich will discuss his research using quantitative and qualitative survey data collected from thousands of adult Internet users across a range of nations between 2006-2015 to examine the diffusion, adoption, prevailing attitudes, and ethical frameworks surrounding “configurable” cultural practices such as mashups, remixes and memes. Click here for more.

High-Level Negotiations On LDC Pharma IP Waiver Extension At WTO

[Catherine Saez] Negotiations have been ongoing at the World Trade Organization over the extension of a waiver allowing least-developed countries not to grant or enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The issue was unsuccessfully debated at the last meeting of the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee earlier this month. Since then, discussions have been ongoing between the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group and the United States, apparently the last WTO member to resist the LDCs’ request. The discussions on the issue have reached ambassador level. Click here for the full story on IP Watch.

U.S. Department of Education #GoOpen Campaign to Expand Openly Licensed Educational Resources

[CC-USA] On Thursday, October 29, 2015 the U.S. Department of Education announced the #GoOpen campaign, which it defined as a major commitment to “significantly expand and accelerate the creation, curation, use, and sharing of openly licensed educational resources in our schools.”  To further promote OER, the Department is proposing a regulation  that  would  “require  all copyrightable  intellectual  property  created  with  Department  grant  funds  to have  an open license.” Click here for more.

Stalled Policy Will Cost Lives: Patient Groups Appeal to Minister Davies

[Treatment Access Campaign] The Fix the Patent Laws (FTPL) Campaign, today called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to end years of pharmaceutical company price gouging and broken promises for patent law reform and produce a final intellectual property (IP) policy and bill to amend the Patents Act. The coalition released a detailed timeline revealing how broken promises by the DTI, and push back by the pharmaceutical industry have contributed to government’s delays in finalising reform of South Africa’s patent laws. Click here for more.

Fair Use and Blurred Lines Between Common Law and Civil Law Countries

[Brandon Butler] For the last few decades, the United States has been aggressively and systematically “exporting” half of its copyright system. In treaties and in trade agreements, the US has insisted on longer terms of protection, stiffer penalties for infringement, legal protection for digital locks, and a variety of other measures designed to benefit copyright holders. Only recently, however, has the US even acknowledged the part of its copyright law that protects the public, including schools, libraries, technologists, and entrepreneurs, against overreaching copyright laws. Click here for more.

Does Compulsory Licensing Discourage Invention? Evidence from German Patents after World War I

[Joerg Baten, Nicola Bianchi, and Petra Moser] Abstract: This paper investigates whether compulsory licensing – which allows governments to license patents without the consent of patent-owners – discourages invention. Our analysis exploits new historical data on German patents to examine the effects of compulsory licensing under the US Trading-with-the-Enemy Act on invention in Germany. We find that compulsory licensing was associated with a 28 percent increase in invention. Click here for more.

White House Commits to Open Access, Open Education and Open Data in New Open Government Plan

[Nicole Allen] last week, the White House released its 2016-2017Open Government National Action Plan, which includes commitments to expand access to open educational resources and the results of federally funded research. This exciting development shows continued support from the Obama administration for these issues, and sets the stage for continued progress beyond the 2016 elections. Click here for more.

More Is Less: A Critical Review of Works Made for Hire Rules in China

[Ge Jiang] Abstract: The creation of works in modern society is becoming more and more impersonal, and the majority of works are created as works made for hire. Reasonable property rules are required to minimize transaction cost and to facilitate smooth dissemination of such works. However, neither the current nor the envisaged amended version of the Chinese Copyright Law provides works made for hire rules, which are fair and predictable enough. Click here for more.