[Ip-health] Infojustice Roundup - February 24, 2014

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Mon Feb 24 13:57:30 PST 2014

Infojustice Roundup - February 21, 2014

TPP Ministers Meet in Singapore


Trade Ministers met this past weekend to work towards finalization of
the Trans Pacific Partnership, but press reports indicate that progress
is slow.  Public interest statements put out in advance of the
negotiations included:


*         Jane Kelsey. TPPA Ministers Set to Make Crucial IP Decisions
This Weekend in Singapore Link <http://infojustice.org/archives/32277> 

*         Susan Chalmers. Where Policy Fora Collide: Country-Code
Top-Level Domains and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Link.

*         Medicines San Fronteires. MSF Urges TPP Countries Not to
Abandon Public Health in Bid to Finalize Trade Deal. Link


GIPC IP Index: Propagating Imaginary IP norms


[Swaraj Paul Barooah] One would expect that the US Chamber of Commerce
would have enough funds to commission a thorough and well researched
report whenever they were to do so. Yet, their GIPC IP Index 2014 is
what I would call a thoroughly embarrassing example of research
methodology, let alone something that can be passed off as a useful
"international index". Is it a coincidence that the report comes up with
results that favour some of industries well known for their lobbying in
the United States - Big Pharma and the Tobacco lobby being the clearest
examples? Click here for more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/32244> 


USTR Accepts Business Proposal to Segregate Public Interest in Advisory


[Sean Flynn] United States Trade Representative Froman announced
yesterday that his agency will create a public interest trade advisory
committee (PITAC) for academics and NGOs as part of the trade advisory
committee structure. But instead of including public interest
representatives within Industry Trade Advisory Committees, USTR has
accepted the proposal of industry representatives to segregate
non-industry views into a separate committee. Click here for more.


The Australian Law Reform Commission Recommends Fair Use, Europe Next?


[Paul Keller] With the EU consultation on a review of the European
Copyright rules still ongoing (the new extended deadline is the 5th of
March) it is nice to see that some other countries are apparently making
progress with their national copyright reform agendas. One of the most
interesting bits of news is coming out of Australia. The Australian Law
Reform Commission has just published its report on Copyright and the
Digital Economy. At the centerpiece of this report we find the
recommendation to replace the existing system of purpose-based
exceptions with a flexible fair use style exception. Click here for
more. <http://infojustice.org/archives/32269>  


Graphics on U.S. Pharmaceutical Exports to India, Patents, the
Compulsory License, and Prices


[Mike Palmedo]  The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is
currently investigating "Indian industrial policies that discriminate
against U.S. imports... and the effect those barriers have on the U.S.
economy and U.S. jobs."... Below I've posted a few graphics to show that
the experience of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has been largely
positive.  They are followed by one graphic comparing prices offered by
Bayer and Natco to Indian income by quintile. Click here for more.


European Union Sees Flurry Of Activity On Copyright Policy 


[Julie Fraser] There have been several important developments related to
copyright in the European Union in the past week. Below is a summary
[covering] clickable links to copyrighted material, private copying levy
systems, [and] collective rights management. Click here for the full
story on IP Watch.


Copyright and Inequality


[Lea Shaver] The prevailing theory of copyright law imagines a
marketplace efficiently serving up new works to an undifferentiated
world of consumers. Yet the reality is that all consumers are not equal.
The majority of the world's people experience copyright law not as a
boon to consumer choice, but as a barrier to acquiring knowledge and
taking part in cultural life. The resulting patterns of privilege and
disadvantage, moreover, reinforce and perpetuate preexisting social
divides. Class and culture combine to explain who wins, and who loses,
from copyright protection. Along the dimension of class, the insight is
that just because new works are created does not mean that most people
can afford them. Copyright protection inflates the price of cultural
works, with implications for cultural participation and distributive
justice, as well as economic efficiency. Along the dimension of culture,
the insight is that is not enough for copyright theory to speak
generally of new works; it matters crucially what language those works
are created in. Copyright is likely to be an ineffective incentive
system for the production of works in "neglected languages" - those
spoken predominantly by poor people. This article highlights and
explores these relationships between copyright and social inequality,
offering a new perspective on what is at stake in debates over copyright
reform. Click here for the full paper on SSRN.


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