[A2k] US opposes safeguards in WIPO treaty for the blind that are included in ACTA, and Beijing treaty

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Tue Jun 4 14:41:51 PDT 2013


http://keionline.org/node/1736

US opposes safeguards in WIPO treaty for the blind that are included
in ACTA, and Beijing treaty

James Love , 4. June 2013

I was in Geneva today, and was told by several delegates the US is
opposing this language in the negotiating text (from the Annex):

[Proposed Footnote: It is understood that Contracting Parties who are
members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) acknowledge all the
principles and objectives of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and understand that
nothing in this Treaty affects the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement,
including, but not limited to, the provisions relating to
anti-competitive practices.]

Why is this important? Because the "principles and objectives" of the
TRIPS include references to such things as social and economic
welfare, balance of rights and obligations, and the public interest.

The US says it does not want to "change" anything in international
law, but asks for references to provisions in the TRIPS that favor
right holders. Why would the US object to this, unless they want to
favor publishers over blind persons? This is even more baffling when
you consider that the USA accepted similar safeguards language in ACTA
and the Beijing Treaty.

For example, consider this text from ACTA:

ACTA Article 2. 3. The objectives and principles set forth in Part I
of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular in Articles 7 and 8, shall
apply, mutatis mutandis, to this Agreement.

Do counterfeiters get more respect from the White House trade office,
State and USPTO than do blind people?

Here is the reference in the Beijing treaty to the exact same language
the US is seeking to block for blind people:

It is understood that Contracting Parties who are members of the World
Trade Organization (WTO) acknowledge all the principles and objectives
of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and understand that nothing in this Treaty
affects the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, including, but not
limited to, the provisions relating to anti-competitive practices.

Apparently this was good enough for the performers treaty, but not for
a treaty that benefits blind persons.

-------------------
Here is the Text of Articles 7 and 8 from the TRIPS Agreement

Article 7 Objectives

The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should
contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the
transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of
producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner
conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights
and obligations.

Article 8 Principles

1. Members may, in formulating or amending their laws and regulations,
adopt measures necessary to protect public health and nutrition, and
to promote the public interest in sectors of vital importance to their
socio-economic and technological development, provided that such
measures are consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.

2. Appropriate measures, provided that they are consistent with the
provisions of this Agreement, may be needed to prevent the abuse of
intellectual property rights by right holders or the resort to
practices which unreasonably restrain trade or adversely affect the
international transfer of technology.


--
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.
twitter.com/jamie_love




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