[Ip-health] Infojustice Roundup - November 21, 2011

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Nov 21 11:21:11 PST 2011

Infojustice Roundup 
Intellectual Property and the Public Interest


Draft Analysis of U.S. TPP Proposals for Intellectual Property and
Pharmaceuticals, Open for Comment


A joint analysis of the leaked U.S. proposals for intellectual property
and pharmaceutical pricing chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) has been released by Margot Kaminski (Yale), Brook Baker
(Northeastern University) and Jimmy Koo and Sean Flynn (American
University, WCL).  The U.S. proposal is lengthy and complex, with most
sections including new language not included in any previous free trade
agreement and many provisions extending beyond the current bounds of
U.S. law. To help ensure that their analysis is as complete and accurate
as possible, the authors have released their preliminary findings in
draft form for public comment. Comments will be accepted through 5pm EST
November 29, 2011. Click here for more.


Survey Shows a Majority of Americans Oppose IP Enforcement Actions
Promoted by U.S. Government


The American Assembly at Columbia University has released preliminary
findings from their survey of computer users' practices and opinions
regarding unauthorized downloading.  Among the findings: 

"Only a slim majority of Americans (52%) support penalties for
downloading copyright music and movies... Among those who support fines,
75% support amounts under $100 per song or movie infringed - hugely
undershooting the current statutory penalties... 69% oppose monitoring
of their internet activity for the purposes of enforcement. 57% oppose
blocking or filtering by commercial intermediaries if those measures
also block some legal content or activity."  Click here for more.


European Parliament Resolution Opposes Domain Name Seizures


On November 15, the European Parliament issued a resolution that
"Stresses the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and
freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to
revoke IP addresses or domain names." The U.S. Department of Homeland
Security's Operation In Our Sites has blocked domain names for websites
run by European companies, and Congress is currently considering the
Stop Online Piracy Act, which contains provisions related to further DNS
Blocking. Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/6202>  


Notes on the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Stop Online Piracy


On November 16, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R.
3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the controversial legislation
introduced by Rep. Smith to give the executive branch and IP owners more
tools to fight online piracy. Witnesses who testified represented the
U.S. Copyright Office, Pfizer, the Motion Picture Association of
America, MasterCard, Google, and the AFL-CIO.  All of the witnesses
except for Katherine Oyama (Google) supported the legislation, and most
of the Members of the Committee seemed to support it as well. Click here
for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/6182> 


Addressing the Proposed WIPO International Instrument on Limitations and
Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities: Recommendation or
Mandatory Treaty?


Margot Kaminski and Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid have released a working paper
that "addresses the proposed WIPO International Instrument on
Limitations and Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities. ... We
conclude that if WIPO wants to achieve compliance, this proposed
instrument should be binding hard law. Enacting this agreement as soft
law would undermine the goal of making copyrighted works accessible to
persons with print disabilities...   In the international copyright
context, hard law is necessary because of the complicated web of
existing hard law in the field. If WIPO wishes for the proposed
instrument to counter hard law established in other forums, it should
make the instrument binding. Otherwise, developing countries will not
implement the instrument, and WIPO will fail to reach those persons with
print disabilities most in need of an international solution."  Click
here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/6157>  


UN Special Rapporteur Supports WIPO Treaty for the Blind


Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion
and Expression, has called on WIPO Member states to "work assiduously to
agree a binding WIPO treaty for blind and other reading disabled
people."  In a message to the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and
Related Rights, he said that "Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights states that the right to freedom of opinion and expression
'includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and, to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and
regardless of frontiers'... Blind and partially sighted people face a
'book famine' in which the vast majority of books are never made into
accessible formats like braille, audio or large print. WIPO SCCR23 has
an opportunity and a responsibility to help to solve this problem, by
removing the copyright barriers which prevent access for reading
disabled people."  Click here for his statement on the TACD website.


WTO Members Asked to Consider Extension of TRIPS Deadline for Least
Developed Countries


The World Trade Organization's TRIPS Council will ask Member states to
consider a request from Least Developed Countries for an extension of
the deadline for their compliance with the TRIPS Agreement. IP Watch
reports that Bangladesh presented the TRIPS Council with the request,
which recognizes that "Least Developed Country Members continue to face
serious economic, financial and administrative constraints in their
efforts to bring their domestic legal system into conformity with the
provisions of the TRIPS Agreement."  Currently, LDCs are required to
implement the Agreement by 2013 (There is an extra 3-year period for
measures related to pharmaceuticals).  Click here for more.


CIS Interview with Prof. Balaram on Open Access


CIS-India has posted a podcast of an interview with Professor P.
Balaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Science, on open access.
Prof. Balaram notes that the "author pays" model can lead to substantial
costs for authors, so it may work better in developed countries where
there is substantial government support for science, than in low and
middle income countries.  Because of this, he says he favors
institutional archives which are openly accessible and have the works of
academics from the institution, regardless of whether the works were
initially published in an open access journal.  Click here for the full
interview on the CIS website.









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