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Infojustice Roundup - September 16, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

PIJIP’s Marrakesh Treaty Event – Teaching Resource and Thanks

[Michael Carroll] I write to thank the many members of our community who worked to support our highly successful event last week organized and convened by Peter Jaszi and entitled The 2013 Marrakesh Treaty: Providing Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind and Print Disabled. I also write to alert teaching colleagues about the potential usefulness of the video record for use in the classroom or as a supplementary material. Click here for more.

South Africa’s Draft IP Policy – Patent Notes

[Caroline Ncube] A number of commentaries have been published on the Draft IP Policy’s suggested patent reforms (see below for links to some of these). In general, the draft policy has been lauded as a welcome step for South Africa. For example, the TAC and MSF have welcomed the policy as they are of the view that, if implemented, these reforms will curb harmful practices such as the evergreening of pharmaceutical patents. However, there seems to be general consensus that the wording of the policy could be improved in future iterations so as to achieve coherence, clarity and certainty. Click here for more.

See also comments by MSF, TAC and Section 27; Andrew Rens; and Thiru Balasubramaniam.

Evaluating Graduated Response

[Rebecca Giblin] Abstract: It has been more than three years since the first countries began implementing ‘graduated responses’, requiring ISPs to take a range of measures to police their users’ copyright infringements. Graduated responses now exist in a range of forms in seven jurisdictions. Right-holders describe them as ‘successful’ and ‘effective’ and are agitating for their further international roll-out. But what is the evidence in support of these claims? Click here for more.

Eli Lilly Formally Requests Arbitration Against Canada Under NAFTA in Dispute Over Drug Patents

[Mike Palmedo] On September 12, Eli Lilly formally submitted a Notice of Arbitration against Canada under the rules of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The filing is here. Eli Lilly alleges that Canada violated its NAFTA intellectual property obligations when its courts found the patents for two of its drugs to be invalid. The drug patents in question – covering Lilly’s products Strattera and Zyprexa – had been successfully challenged by generic firms, which argued that the patents failed to meet Canadian usefulness standards. Click here for more.

Internet Intermediary Liability in Nigeria: New Legislation Threatens Internet Freedom

[Maureen Nwobodo] Many countries have made moves to make internet intermediaries (such as cybercafés, internet service providers and telecom operators) liable for the sort of content posted at their web-space/network by its users, thereby indirectly using them to police the flow of information. These practices, which have a negative impact in the users’ freedom of expression, information and association, are currently under debate in many African countries. If internet intermediaries are made liable for information shared by third parties on their network, the potential of the internet as a platform to access and produce information could be hampered. Click here for more.

A Human Rights Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines

[Hannah Brennan, Rebecca Distler, Miriam Hinman, and Alix Rogers] In this paper, we address whether and how human rights norms and frameworks can be used to improve access to medicines (A2M) by reducing the barriers that intellectual property laws create to such access. We evaluate the feasibility and usefulness of four human rights based strategies that our contacts in the A2M community suggested might be particularly productive: (1) the use of human rights arguments in domestic court cases that deal with intellectual property laws, (2) the articulation of norms in the United Nations human rights system, (3) the use of human rights arguments and frameworks to secure greater pharmaceutical corporate accountability, and (4) the use of health-related rights to build multilateral and regional alliances that can more effectively oppose free trade agreements with TRIPS-plus provisions. Click here for more.

Upcoming PIJIP Event: The Law and Economics of Copyright Users Rights

[Mike Palmedo] On September 26, AUWCL’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property will hold a public conference on The Law and Economics of Copyright Users Rights. It will serve as a launch of an interdisciplinary project to conduct empirical research on the effects of flexibility in copyright law, including both the effects on consumer welfare and on innovation in the technology and creative industries. Click here for more.

‘Two Cups of Tea’ for the Piracy of Course Packs

[Dwijen Rangnekar] Concern about access to educational materials has regularly been in the news. Whether it is the ‘cost of knowledge’ campaign focusing on Elsevier’s blanket licence policy[1] or the suicide of Aaron Swartz.[2] Also significant was Harvard University’s announcement that it couldn’t afford the price hike demanded by journal publishers.[3] For that matter, initiatives like those contained in the Finch Report have invited criticism that they divert research monies – already a dwindling resource – as ‘article processing charges’ whilst not dealing with the problem of blanket licences. These struggles are legion; yet, I want to shift attention to the analogue world of books and photocopied course packs. The case in Delhi High Court has Oxford University Press (OUP), Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis litigating Delhi University and Rameshwari Photocopy Services for copyright infringement. Not only is the thought of a university press litigating a university problematic; but, this case comes with a fair dose of colonial-era inequities. Click here for more.

Peruvian Legislators File Motion Seeking Public Debate on the Trans Pacific Partnership

[Mike Palmedo] On August 28, a group of members of the Peruvian legislature – the Parlamentario Acción Popular-Frente Amplio – proposed a motion that asks for greater transparency in the Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations. Specifically, the motion seeks “a public, political, and technical debate on the proposals of the Trans-pacific Partnership” and requests “the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism and the technical team in charge of the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to report on the matter.” Click here for more.

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