[A2k] Infojustice Roundup - October 7, 2013

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Oct 7 11:04:50 PDT 2013

Wikipedia's Economic Value


[Jonathan Band and Jonathan Gerafi]  In the copyright policy debate,
proponents of strong copyright protection tend to be dismissive of the
quality of freely available content. In response to counter-examples
such as open access scholarly publications and advertising-supported
business models (e.g., newspaper websites and the over-the-air
television broadcasts viewed by 50 million Americans), the strong
copyright proponents center their attack on amateur content. In this
narrative, YouTube is for cat videos and Wikipedia is a wildly
unreliable source of information. Recent studies, however, indicate that
the volunteer-written and -edited Wikipedia is no less reliable than
professionally edited encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/30858> 


U.S. Department of Commerce to Host Meeting and Seek Comments on Recent
"Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy"


The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that its Internet Policy
Task Force (IPTF) will hold a public meeting to discuss copyright policy
issues raised in a recently released green paper, "Copyright Policy,
Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy" (Green Paper). In
addition to the meeting, the IPTF is soliciting public comments, both of
which are part of the IPTF's efforts to continue a dialogue on how to
improve the current copyright framework for stakeholders, consumers, and
national economic goals. The meeting will be held on October 30, 2013,
in Washington, D.C. Click here for the full press release.


Blind Sidelined by Department of Trade and Industry


[Marcus Low] South Africa's draft intellectual property policy fails to
make any mention of the most progressive copyright treaty in years.
Blind and visually impaired people will pay the price if this is not
rectified in the final policy. On 28 June 2013, 51 countries lined up in
Marrakesh, Morocco, to sign an historic treaty aimed at making more
books available for blind and visually impaired people. South Africa was
not one of them. Click here for more.


Leaders of Countries Negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership Meet at
APEC Summit in Indonesia


Prime Ministers of most of the countries involved in the TPP
negotiations are meeting on the side of the APEC summit in Bali, though
President Obama sent Secretary of State John Kerry in his place.  For
more see:


*         Joint Civil Society Submission to the Australian Government on
Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines in the TPP.  (Link
<http://infojustice.org/archives/30827> )

*         Matthew Rimmer. Will Obama Fast-Track the Trans-Pacific
Partnership?  (Link <http://infojustice.org/archives/30881> )

*         Mike Palmedo. Skepticism Rises that TPP Will Conclude by End
of the Year; Little Progress Made on IP and Access to Medicines.  (Link
<http://infojustice.org/archives/30867> )

*         MSF. Governments in Trans-Pacific trade deal urged to reject
political trade-offs harmful to access to medicines.  (Link
-trans-pacific-trade-deal-urged-reject-political-trade> )


Under U.S. Pressure, Spain Passes New Copyright Law


[Ed Lang] Last month, Spain passed several amendments to its penal code
providing for harsh punishments for copyright infringements on the
Internet.  The new amendments specifically target operators of websites
who provide links to infringing content on other sites.  Even if the
operators do not profit directly from a file-sharing transaction, they
still may be subject to a six year prison sentence for indirectly
profiting from such transactions, for example, by deriving advertising
revenue from the site.  This result is part of an ongoing public and
private pressure campaign from the United States government and American
industry groups toward the Spanish Congreso de los Disputados to make
their copyright laws more restrictive. Click here for more.


Italy: Draft Regulation on Copyright Protection on Electronic
Communication Networks  


[Article 19] ... the Draft Regulation contains some positive elements in
terms of freedom of expression, particularly the exclusion of Internet
users who download content on peer-to-peer networks from the scope of
the Draft. It also puts emphasis on the promotion of legal content and
education of consumers. At the same time, the Draft Regulation falls
short of international standards on freedom of expression in key
respects. We are especially concerned that the Draft Regulation provides
for the blocking of entire websites, domain names or IP addresses.
These measures are both ineffective and deeply inimical to free
expression due to the high risks of over-blocking. We are also concerned
that blocking powers would be entrusted to a regulator rather than the
courts. Click here for more.




More information about the A2k mailing list