[A2k] Infojustice Roundup - December 19, 2011

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Dec 19 13:33:45 PST 2011

Infojustice Roundup 
Intellectual Property and the Public Interest


Stop Online Piracy Act Markup to Continue Wednesday; Committee Members
Seek Input from Security Experts


Last week, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of the Stop
Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to debate over 55 amendments to the
legislation. Some Members (especially Reps Chaffetz, Lofgren, Polis, and
Issa) warned that SOPA's provisions requiring internet service providers
to block access to websites would undermine the functioning of the
internet and increase security risks. They cited warnings from experts
including Stewart Baker, Vint Cerf, and a letter from 83 engineers who
each had a role in the creation of the internet.  Other Members,
including Reps. Watt and Berman, seemed hostile to the idea that
blocking websites would lead to security problems. The markup will
continue on Wednesday, December 21.  Click here for more.


How the Indian Government Censors the Internet Without Being Seen


Pranesh Prakash describes how the Indian government is trying to quietly
censor the Internet.  His article shows how the government has been able
to censor online content through the Information Technology Act, the
Intermediary Guidelines Rules it passed in April 2011. The government is
now pursuing methods of censorship that leave even fewer traces; thus
Kapil Sibal talks of Internet 'self-regulation', and the government has
brought about an amendment of the Copyright Act that requires instant
removal of content. Click here for more.


Mexican IP Enforcement Legislation Includes New Fines and Warrentless


Geraldine Juarez reports that Senador Francisco Doring has introduced a
bill empowering the  Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial
(IMPI) to send notifications to users based on allegations of
infringement from rightholders. After the third notice, IMPI can pursue
any allegation, and can ask internet service providers to provide the
alleged infringers' identification data based on their IP address.  The
bill allows for fines equaling 30 days' minimum wage, and includes
criminal penalties for "making available protected works."  Last week,
another IP enforcement bill was fast-tracked and approved, which gives
IMPI powers to search houses and businesses with a without a search
warrant (provided that notification is given).  Click here for more.


Assistant USTR Questioned at TPP Hearing About the U.S.'s Move Away from
the May 10 Agreement on Intellectual Property 


On December 14, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the
Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, at which Assistant USTR Demetrios
Marantis testified on intellectual property and access to medicines.
When Rep. McDermott questioned him about USTR's move away from the "May
10" 2007 policy compromise, he answered that USTR is trying "to create
increased legal certainty and predictability for generics as well as
innovative producers so that they get into the market in the developing
world as quickly as possible" Click here for more.


Peruvian Trade Minister Rejects U.S. IPR Proposal In Trans Pacific


Inside U.S. Trade reports that Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and
Tourism Jose Luis Silva has rejected the U.S. proposal for intellectual
property, saying "Peru does not want to go farther than what it has
agreed in the area of intellectual property in the free trade agreement
with the United States... the United States is making a proposal to
favor its companies, and the rest of the countries have the right to say
'no' because it harms the interests of their citizens."   He claims that
the Peruvian position involves greater protection of traditional
knowledge and genetic resources, and that most of the other countries
negotiating the TPP are closer the Peruvian position than the American
one. Click here for the full story on insideustrade.com.


European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs To Discuss ACTA Tomorrow


Today, the European Parliament's Legal Service released its opinion on
ACTA to the public. Tommorow, the European Parliament Committee on Legal
Affairs will discuss ACTA. The hearing will be streamed live.  In
advance of the hearing, the Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure has written the Committee, arguing that ACTA will
"undermine access to generic medicines," and that it contains
"draconian" measures against media piracy including "damages [that] go
beyond current EU law, which is based on actual loss suffered, including
lost profits." Click here for more.


Consistency of Korea-US Free Trade Agreement Copyright Provisions


As Korea prepares to implement the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement
(KORUS), an infojustice blog by Sean Flynn points out three areas where
KORUS clashes with U.S. copyright law.  First, KORUS extends copyright
protection "all reproductions of their works, performances, and
phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary (including
temporary storage in electronic form)" - but US law does not prohibit
reproduction "in any form." It rather prohibits reproduction of the
"copyrighted works in copies or phonorecords." Second, the KORUS
requirement to provide criminal penalties for counterfeit labels is
broader than existing U.S. law.  Finally, there are inconsistencies
between the KORUS anti-circumvention requirements and the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act.  Click here for more.




*         Dec 20 - European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs
Hearing on ACTA

*         Dec 21 - U.S. House Judiciary Markup of the Stop Online Piracy
Act <http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/mark_12152011.html>  

*         Jan 13 - Deadline for submitting comments to USTR on Japan,
Mexico and Canada joining the Trans Pacific Partnership



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