[A2k] Infojustice Roundup - October 31, 2011

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Oct 31 11:40:46 PDT 2011

Infojustice Roundup - October 31, 2011
Intellectual Property and the Public Interest


U.S. Copyright Office Report on "Priorities and Special Projects"


U.S. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante has published a report
outlining the "Priorities and Special Projects" of the U.S. Copyright
Office for the next two years.  According to the copyright office press
release: "Rogue websites, illegal streaming, small claims, orphan works,
and library preservation are among the issues the Copyright Office will
focus on through research and legislative support for Congress. The
document also summarizes the work of the office in global policy,
including U.S. trade negotiations, anti-piracy efforts and international
discussions of exceptions and limitations.  The administrative practice
of the Copyright Office will be particularly active during the next two
years. The office has launched the fifth triennial rulemaking involving
the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act and will spend significant time considering and resolving regulatory
issues affecting the copyrightability and registration of websites and
other forms of digital authorship."  Click here for more.


WIPO Initiative to Pool Resources for Tropical Diseases Research


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced
"Re:Search," a new consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers,
government entities, and nonprofit organizations which will share
intellectual property in order to drive research and development for new
drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for TB, malaria, and neglected tropical
diseases. WIPO Director Francis Gurry called RE:Search a "ground
breaking example of how a multi-stakeholder coalition can put IP to work
for social benefit."  Some observers have criticized the initiative's
licensing provisions, which require medicines developed through the
initiative to be made available through a royalty-free license in Least
Developed Countries, but not in in other developing countries where
tropical diseases are endemic.  Click here for more.


Margot Kaminski in IP Watch: Plurilateral Trade Agreements Lack
Protections for Users, Intermediaries


The role of online intermediaries in copyright enforcement is on the
international negotiating table. The topic arose in early drafts of the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and has come up again in the
plurilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), for which
negotiations just took place in Peru. Online intermediary liability is
currently unaddressed by multilateral agreements. TRIPS [the World Trade
Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights] does not contain digital enforcement provisions on intermediary
liability; neither does the WIPO Copyright Treaty. It's clear, however,
from the self-annihilating storm over ACTA's digital enforcement chapter
and the initial rumblings over the leaked US-proposed chapter for the
TPP that intermediary liability is up for discussion. Click here for
more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/5951>  


South African Legislature Debates Bill to Protect Indigenous Knowledge


On October 28, the South African National Assembly debated the
Intellectual Property Laws Amendments Bill, which aims to protect
indigenous knowledge (IK).  Speaking before the House, Minister of Trade
and Industry Rob Davies said, "this IP Bill seeks to amend the
Performers Protection Act, Trade Marks Act, Copyright Act and Designs
Act. The main thrust of the Bill is that no registration of IP that is
based on IK will be able to be effected without 1) mandatory disclosure
of the IK element, 2) prior informed consent by IK owners, and 3)
without a benefit sharing arrangement entered into with the relevant IK
owners."  Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/5958> 


Rep. Smith Introduces Stop Online Piracy Act


On October 26, Rep. Lamar Smith introduced the Stopping Online Piracy
Act (H.R. 3261),  the House version of Sen. Leahy's PROTECT-IP Act.  It
enables right holders to seek the takedown of the domain names of sites
that host infringing content, and requires service providers, including
search engines, advertisers, and online payment processors, to stop
doing business with them.  The scope of websites that could be affected
by H.R. 3621 bill is larger than that of the Senate bill.  While the
Senate bill applies to sites "dedicated to infringing activities," the
house bill applies to sites that "facilitate" infringement."  A site may
be considered to facilitate infringement if (among other reasons) it
takes actions to "avoid confirming a high probability of infringement,"
- a provision which civil society groups warned may force service
providers to monitor websites that contain user generated content. Click
here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/5916> 


EC Trade Commissioner Cites Protection of Geographic Indications as a
Top Policy Goal


Speaking in Rome on October 28, European Trade Commissioner for Trade
Karel De Gucht cited the protection of geographical indicators as a main
component of EC trade policy:  "improving the worldwide protection of
geographic indications is also high on our agenda. We are making
in-roads, even in the face of opposition from other parts of the world
with different Intellectual Property approaches. Our agreement with
Korea achieved a high-level of protection for a key set of EU
Geographical Indications, while recent agreements with Moldova and
Georgia establish a very high level of protection for the complete range
of EU geographical indications. We are even advancing in a deal on
geographical indications with China and I hope that South Africa will
look at our proposals on this subject more favourably than before. We
will continue to pursue this aggressive policy both multilaterally
(WTO), plurilaterally (such as in ACTA), bilaterally in our free trade
deals and our wine agreements."  Click here for Commissioner De Gucht's
full speech.


Events and Deadlines


*         Nov 8 - The Economics of Intellectual Property: Licensing
Negotiations by Standard Setting (WIPO)

*         Nov 9-10 - Berlin 9 Open Access Conference:  The Impact of
Open Access on Research and Scholarship

*         Nov 14-18 - Committee on Development and Intellectual Property
(WIPO) <http://wipo.int/portal/en/events/2011/article_0024.html> 

*         Nov 16 - House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Stop Online
Piracy Act <http://judiciary.house.gov/news/HR%203261%20Introduced.html>

*         Nov 18 - Intellectual Property Rights and the Global Civil
Society Reform Project: What's Next? London School of Economics and
Political Science

*         Nov 19-20 - Socially Responsible Licensing: Achieving Social
Equity through Voluntary Licensing.  Hosted by Boston University and
Warwick University.

*         Nov 21- Dec 2 - Standing Committee on Copyright and Related
Rights (WIPO) <http://wipo.int/portal/en/events/2011/article_0025.html>

*         Nov 30- Dec 1 - Advisory Committee on Enforcement (WIPO)






More information about the A2k mailing list