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Infojustice Roundup - November 11, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Korean Legislation Would Require Mandatory Human Rights Impact Assessments for Trade Agreements

[Heesob Nam] Trade agreements have been evaluated in economic terms, but the impact of trade agreements is not limited to economic life. They have human rights dimensions in many aspects. For instance, trade agreements containing the TRIPS-plus provisos may affect the right to access to essential medicine, the right to food and more broadly the right to science and culture, which is protected by the Article 27(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Accordingly, the UN human rights bodies have tried to develop and propose human rights impact assessments (HRIA) of trade agreements. Click here for more.

Letter from AARP and 14 Other Civil Society Groups to Obama on Trans Pacific Partnership and Medicine Prices

[Original letter by 15 civil society groups] Dear Mr. President: The organizations below are, like you, dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of public programs that provide access to affordable health care. But we write today to express our deep concern that provisions being advanced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will undermine this goal by limiting the ability of states and the federal government to moderate escalating prescription drug, biologic drug and medical device costs in public programs. We are also concerned that the final trade agreement will bind the U.S. to a 12-year market exclusivity period for brand-name biologic drugs, contrary to the Administration’s proposal in its most recent and previous budgets to reduce the exclusivity period. Click here for more.

Also on TPP:

  • Matthew Rimmer. Will the Pacific Rim Become a Gasland? Dirty Fracking and the TPP. (Link)
  • Jane Kelsey. Crunch Time for TPPA at Salt Lake City Meeting 19-24 November. (Link)

Open Educational Resources in Poland: Challenges and Opportunities

[UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education] A new country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by IITE. The authors Kamil Sliwowski and Karolina Grodecka describe the national educational policy and the structure of the recently reformed educational system of Poland, national programmes and projects aimed at digitization of schools, top-down and bottom-up activities in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER). Click here for more.

Briefing Paper: Current Proposals to Amend U.S. Patent Law

[Jorge Contreras] This Briefing Paper was produced in conjunction with the American University Washington College of Law Patent Policy Forum being held on Nov. 8, 2013. The Forum will explore current proposals to amend U.S. patent law to address issues surrounding non-practicing entity (PAE) litigation, software and business methods patents and standards-essential and FRAND-encumbered patents. The Briefing Paper summarizes the legislative and administrative proposals that are currently on the table in each of these areas, and is intended to be a springboard for informed policy discussion. Click here for more.

Racial slurs and football team names: What does trademark law say?

[Christine Haight Farley] … Since 1905 federal trademark law has banned the registration of scandalous or immoral marks. In 1947, marks that may disparage, bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols were also banned. U.S. trademark law is not unique in prohibiting the registration of offensive trademarks. Many other countries’ trademark laws contain similar provisions. Click here for more.

European Parliament Members Explore Decriminalizing File-Sharing

[Ernesto] Frustrated by the lack of copyright reform in Europe, several Members of European Parliament have started a coordinated platform to urge the European Commission to update its outdated policy. The MEPs are looking for a more flexible copyright system which benefits European citizens and businesses, including the decriminalization of file-sharing for personal use. The first steps towards these goals are to be made during an event in Brussels on Tuesday. Click here for the full piece on TorrentFreak.

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