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Infojustice Roundup - December 9, 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

Third Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest and Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa

This week, from 9 to 13 December 2013, delegates from national and international governmental entities, the private sector, civil society and academia are gathered for five days of interconnected events in Cape Town, South Africa. Hosted by the University of Cape Town (UCT), participants are engaging with diverse perspectives and future scenarios for intellectual property (IP), innovation and development during the combined 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest and Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa. Click here for more.

See also: Notes on Day 1 posted to Afro-IP by Isaac Rutenberg

The Global Congress Research Survey: Research Priorities

[Joe Karaganis] Between July and September, 2013, The American Assembly surveyed members of the ‘Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest’ community to learn more about their research and priorities. We invited responses from anyone who had either been to a Global Congress, been invited, or expressed interest in coming to one–a total of around 600 people. We received around 90 responses. While the responses aren’t a representative sample of the community’s views on these issues, they make for interesting reading and are well worth a look for those interested in the intersection of research and IP policymaking. Broadly speaking, they describe a community focused on understanding how innovation systems for science and culture work, from rights and incentives to enforcement and changing cultural practices. For more, see the full table of results, or one of the following posts:

  • Part 1: General International IP Research Topics
  • Part 2: Copyright, Users’ Rights, and Enforcement
  • Part 3: Patents, Medicines, and Trade
  • Part 4: Creative Economies and Practices
  • Part 5: Methods, Communication, and Social Movements

Newly Leaked TPP Documents Show Substantial Disagreements on Key Issues

As Trade Ministers meet for their TPP meeting in Singapore this week, additional leaks have been posted by Wikileaks and the Huffington Post showing different countries’ positions on a number of different issues (including but not limited to IP). Zach Carter describes the documents in his Huffington Post piece: "One memo, which was heavily redacted before being provided to HuffPost, was written ahead of a new round of talks in Singapore this week. Click here for more.

TPP statements by government officials last week:

  • Public Statement by 34 Chilean Deputies and 15 Chilean Senators in The Mercury urging greater transparency in the negotiations. Link.
  • Australian Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson. Statement: Abbott Government blocks trade deal transparency showing contempt for Senate and Australian people. Link.
  • Letter by U.S. Sen. Hatch suggesting that countries should be dropped from the TPP if they do not accept tough IPR provisions, particularly 12 years of exclusivity for biologics. Link.
  • Letter by U.S. Rep. Waxman, urging against TRIPS-Plus provisions that would hinder access to medicines, and stating that 12 years of exclusivity conflicts with Obama’s 2014 budget. Link.

Global Civil Society Letter to Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, WTO Concerning Yemen’s Accession Commitments on IP

[Open letter to WTO Leadership signed 162 Civil Society Groups] The undersigned organizations are writing to express concerns regarding intellectual property commitments being forced on Yemen as part of its WTO accession package that will be presented for formal adoption, to the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, 3-6 December 2013. We understand that as part of its accession terms Yemen is required to fully implement the WTO-Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by 31 December 2016. This contradicts Paragraph 18 of the 2012 Accession Guidelines which explicitly reaffirms “that the Special and Differential Treatment, as set out in the Multilateral Trade Agreements, Ministerial Decisions, and other relevant WTO legal instruments, shall be applicable to all acceding LDCs from the date of entry into force of their respective Protocols of Accession.”Click here for more.

The Three-Step Test Revisited: How to Use the Test’s Flexibility in National Copyright Law

[Christophe Geiger, Daniel Gervais, and Martin Senftleben] Abstract: The first version of the three-step test emerged at the 1967 Stockholm Conference for the Revision of the Berne Convention. With the inclusion of versions of the test in the TRIPS Agreement of April 1994, the two WIPO “Internet” treaties of December 1996, the more recent Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances of June 24, 2012, and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (VIP Treaty) of June 27, 2013, the test has taken on the central function of allowing and enabling tailor-made solutions at the national level. The three rather abstract criteria of the test offer room for different interpretations. Click here for more.

Publishing industry employment in 16 countries, compared to survey data on copyright user rights

[Mike Palmedo] The copyright industries hire a lot of people, and employment figures are often used to argue for stronger protection for rightholders. But do the industries in countries with stronger protection for rightholders hire more people than the same industries in countries with limits on the scope and enforcement of copyright? Do countries with more robust limitations and exceptions to copyright have fewer ‘copyright industry’ jobs? Click here for more.

European Copyright Commission Launches Public Consultation

[EC Press Release]The European Commission has today launched a public consultation as part of its on-going efforts to review and modernise EU copyright rules. The consultation invites stakeholders to share their views on areas identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market (IP/12/1394), i.e. territoriality in the Single Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age; fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement while underpinning its legitimacy in the wider context of copyright reform. Click here for more.

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