[A2k] Infojustice Roundup - February 3, 2014

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Feb 3 08:19:34 PST 2014

Infojustice Roundup - February 3, 2014


What Is the Status of Copyright Reform in Colombia?


[Carolina Botero] Bearing in Mind that Colombia's anticipated copyright
reform is essential meant to fulfill its commitments under the FTA with
the USA (which focuses on the  commercial interests of the
rightholders), 2013 was still an interesting year for the "positive
agenda" that the country's Karisma Foundation is pushing.  The positive
agenda has exceptions at its central axis, which are understood as
guarantees of fundamental rights and not as favors for the holders.
Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/32065> 


Senators Durbin and Franken's Letter   Seeking Support for Open
Textbooks Legislation in the U.S.


Textbook costs are often substantial for stunts and can be a barrier to
attaining a college education. According to the College Board, the
average student spent $1,200 on college books and supplies during the
2012-13 academic year.  The price of new textbooks has increased 82%
over the last decade according to GAO, and yet, textbook costs are one
of the most overlooked impediments to college affordability and access.
The Affordable College Textbook Act (S.1704) would address this problem
by providing grants to colleges and universities to create and expand
the use of open textbooks. Click here for the full letter.


Related:  U.S. PIRG Study Shows Students Opting Out of Buying High-Cost
Textbooks (Link
-cost-textbooks> )


Pharmagate and the Economics of Patent Reform in South Africa


[Marcus Low] We are deeply perturbed by revelations in last Friday's
Mail & Guardian exposing what appears to be a very well-funded, covert
plot by foreign pharmaceutical companies and their local subsidiaries to
delay a democratic law reform process in South Africa. The law reform
concerns the new draft intellectual property policy developed by the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This policy has already been
delayed for many years. The leaked documents expose a secretive US$
500,000 plot to delay the policy even further. Click here for more.


Transformativeness on Trial: Account of U.S. House Judiciary
Subcommittee on Court, IP and the Internet Hearing on Fair Use


[Brandon Butler] The House Judiciary Committee IP Subcommittee held a
hearing last week on "The Scope of Fair Use." ... our own professor
Peter Jaszi was on the panel. As it turns out, Professor Jaszi's
presence was extremely fortuitous, as the hearing turned out to be a
hearing not so much about fair use generally, but about the merits and
demerits of the courts' use of "transformativeness" analysis as a way of
making sense of fair use. The T-word was first deployed by federal judge
Pierre N. Leval in a landmark law review article in 1990, and was
shortly thereafter incorporated into the Supreme Court's landmark fair
use decision, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose. Click here for more.


See also: Accounts of the hearing from ARL
iciary-subcommittee-hearing>  and EFF


WIPO: Developing Countries Oppose Proposals on Work-sharing in Patents


[Alexandra Bhattacharya and K.M. Gopakumar] Developing countries, during
a discussion in WIPO on quality of patents, questioned the value of
work-sharing arrangements among national/regional patent offices as a
method of improving the quality of patents, and opposed efforts by
developed countries to mainstream "work-sharing" in WIPO. The 20th
session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents is meeting in
Geneva from January 27-31, 2014. Click here for more.


Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the
Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities


[Peter Jaszi, Patricia Aufderheide, Bryan Bello and Tijana Milosevic]
The College Art Association has commenced a project ... to develop a
Codes of Best Practice in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and
Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts.  The first phase of the project
was to conduct "interviews with one hundred visual arts professionals
and a survey of CAA members" and produce a report on "current practices
and attitudes among visual arts practitioners (including artists,
scholars, editors, and curators) regarding copyright and fair use."
Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/32082> 


TPP Threatens Human Rights in Chile's Digital Environment


[Francisco Vera] The greatest threat to human rights in Chile's digital
environment is not posed by a lawsuit or bill but by a free trade
agreement known as the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Negotiations for
this agreement are being secretly conducted among 12 countries from the
Asian Pacific and most of the information available about these
negotiations was leaked by some of its chapters. Click here for more.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global IP Index Measures Law and Practice in 25
Countries - What Determines the Scores?


[Mike Palmedo] Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the
second edition of its Global Intellectual Property Index, a report which
grades countries on the strength of their IP protection.  This year's
index covers 25 countries, including all of the BRICS and most of the
countries in the TPP negotiations.  Countries are evaluated among 30
individual factors, which fall into one of six categories - Patents,
Related Rights, and Limitations; Copyrights, Related Rights, and
Limitations; Trademarks, Related Rights, and Limitations; Trade Secrets
and Market Access; Enforcement; and Membership and Ratification of
International Treaties. Click here for more.


No IPR protection for modern yoga techniques


[L. Gopika] Early this month, the Delhi High Court in the case of
Institute for Inner Studies v. Charlotte Anderson discussed the
important issues of whether yoga asanas or Pranic Healing are entitled
to copyright or trademark protection. The plaintiffs argued that the
defendants' use of the yoga techniques, practices and other teachings
invented by the Master Choa Kok Sui (the Master)  without the prior
authorization of the plaintiffs was not permissible as firstly, it
amounted to an infringement of the copyright in literary works under the
Copyright Act, 1957, secondly, the yoga postures and Asanas which state
the manner of performing the Pranic Healing is a choreography work that
deserves protection as a dramatic expression and thirdly, the term
'Pranic Healing' is a trademark that has achieved distinctiveness owing
to longstanding use and the same has been associated only with the
Master and therefore ought to be protected. Click here for the full post
on Spicy IP.


Sen. Hatch - Obama Administration Should More Aggressively Use Trade
Policy to Strengthen Intellectual Property Worldwide


[Mike Palmedo] Last week, Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke about international
intellectual property issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  He...
argued that American history has shown strong intellectual property (IP)
leads to prosperity. Research has shown that increased IP leads all
countries to enjoy greater foreign direct investment, technology
transfer and innovation. However, the "lesson is lost" in the developing
world where countries try to develop through "short cuts" that
"undermine" and "steal" U.S. innovation.  Click here for more.



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