[A2k] IP Enforcement Roundup - August 8, 2011

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Aug 8 12:00:02 PDT 2011

British Government Announces "Sweeping Reforms" of IP Law


The UK plans to modernize intellectual property law by implementing the
recommendations in the May 2010 Hargreaves report.  It announcement
highlighted reforms including exceptions to copyright for private
copying, parody, and text and data mining by researchers, as well as the
creation of a copyright exchange to facilitate licensing, and the
establishment of clearance procedures for orphan works.   Secretary
Vince Cable said in his announcement: "The Government is focused on
boosting growth and the Hargreaves review highlighted the potential to
grow the UK economy. By creating a more open intellectual property
system it will allow innovative businesses to develop new products and
services which will be able to compete fairly in the UK's thriving
markets for consumer equipment." Click here for more.


Ten Representatives Ask USTR for Meeting on IP Provisions in the TPP
that Threaten Access to Medicines


In a letter to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, ten members of Congress
have asked for a meeting to discuss "the approach your office is
considering for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
negotiations that would undermine public health and access to medicines
in the developing countries negotiating that agreement."  They are
concerned over reports that USTR is considering the expansion of
patentability and data exclusivity requirements, the prohibition of
pre-grant opposition to patents, and the inclusion of a pharmaceutical
chapter that would "limit the ability of governments to negotiate with
drugmakers and set reimbursement rates."  The letter was signed by Reps.
Schakowsky, Payne, Waters, Jackson, Grijalva, Conyers, DeLauro, Woolsey,
Lee and Michaud.  Click here for more.


Over 200,000 John Does Sued for File Sharing in the U.S. Since the Start
of 2010


Copyright owners have greatly increased the number of lawsuits people
filesharing in the U.S., and have sued 201,828 John Does in the U.S.
since the beginning of 2010.  TorrentFreak has published data on the
cases, and describes them as part of a "pay-up-or-else scheme" which
could lead to millions paid in out of court settlements: "Through these
mass lawsuits the copyright holders are trying to obtain the personal
details of (mostly) BitTorrent users who allegedly shared their material
online. Once this information is handed over, they then offer the
defendant the opportunity to settle the case for a few hundred up to a
couple of thousand dollars, thereby avoiding a full trial and
potentially even bigger financial penalties." Click here for more.


Story on the EU ACTA Letter


FFII posted a letter that the European Parliament Committee on
International Trade wrote the Parliament Legal Service which asks a
series of questions on ACTA - What is its opinion on the legal basis for
signing ACTA; how does ACTA conform with the EU Acquis (specifically in
regard to border measures, the criteria for damages, and criminal
measures); how does ACTA conform with the TRIPS Agreement; and is the
Commission is obliged to publish the negotiating history?  FFII notes
that the questions asked were very specific, and they overlooked the
more important broad question of how ACTA may affect fundamental rights.
Click here for the FFII blog and the letter.


Aaron Swartz Charged with Wire Fraud for Downloading 4.8 Million
Articles from JSTOR


Aaron Swartz, the founder of the nonprofit Demand Progress and a fellow
at Harvard University's Safra Centre for Ethics, was arrested last month
for downloading 4.8 million JSTOR articles from a server at MIT.  If
convicted, he faces up to 35 years and prison and fines of up to
$1,000,000.  The District Attorney's press release accuses Swartz of
"stealing" the documents "with the purpose of distributing through
file-sharing sites," but the indictment does not accuse Swartz of this -
rather, he is charged with wire and computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining
information from a protected computer, and for recklessly damaging a
protected computer. Click here for more.


Events and Deadlines


*         August 25-27 - Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual
Property Law <http://infojustice.org/public-events/global-congress> 

*         September 5 - The Economics of Intellectual Property - IP and
Innovations for Growth and Welfare in a Closing World Economy

*         September 19 - Deadline for Submissions to MSF for "Ideas
Contest" on Ways to Amend TRIPS to promote public health

*         September 13 - Video Streaming on Digital Devices: Will
Broadband Clash With Copyright? <http://ipbreakfast.eventbrite.com/>  

*         September 14 - U.S. IPR Center Symposium - Online IP Theft in
the 21st Century.










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