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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    US Supreme Court Rules On Golan v. Holder, Key Public Domain Case

    Published on 18 January 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The United States Supreme Court today ruled on one of the top intellectual property legal cases expected this year. The case questioned whether the US Congress acted constitutionally when it restored copyright to millions of foreign works that had been in the public domain in the US. And it affirmed Congress’ actions, allowing the US to avoid questions of compliance with its international obligations.

    The 18 January decision is here [pdf]. The justices ruled 6 to 2 in favour.

    The case was considered one of the most important intellectual property law issues to be addressed in 2012 (IPW, IP Law, 13 January 2012).

    Congress granted the copyright restoration in 1994, in order to comply with US obligations under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). But concerns arose that when it removed works from the public domain, Congress exceeded “the traditional contours of copyright protection” and violated the free speech rights of users of the works.

    The US Supreme Court has greatly limited First Amendment challenges to US copyright law. Another key case, Eldred v. Ashcroft, allows such challenges only if Congress alters “the traditional contours of copyright protection.”

    The rights to millions of works by foreign authors were at stake, including numerous famous works by authors and artists from the 20th century. If the US Supreme Court struck down the copyright restoration, the United States might have been found in violation of its obligations under TRIPS. The Supreme Court heard oral argument for this case in October.

    A federal district court ruled in 2009 that the copyright restoration violated the US Constitution First Amendment on free speech, potentially putting the United States in violation of its obligations under the Berne Convention and the WTO.

    For a full background on the case from Intellectual Property Watch, see here (IPW, IP Law, 8 May 2009)

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reacted positively to the outcome. “The MPAA is pleased that the Supreme Court has again ruled that strong copyright protection is the ‘engine of free expression’ and fully consistent with the First Amendment,* Fritz Attaway, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Advisor, said in a statement. “Today’s ruling demonstrates that the United States fulfills its international copyright obligations and will remain a world leader in protecting creative works, thereby helping foster their continued creation and dissemination.”

    The decision is “particularly significant,” Attaway said, “because the Supreme Court has specifically recognized that the underlying purpose of copyright protection is not only to incentivize the creation of new works, but also to encourage their distribution.”

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Intersect Alert January 22, 2012 | SLA San Francisco Bay Region Chapter says:

      [...] US Supreme Court Rules On Golan v. Holder, Key Public Domain Case “The United States Supreme Court today ruled on one of the top intellectual property legal cases expected this year. The case questioned whether the US Congress acted constitutionally when it restored copyright to millions of foreign works that had been in the public domain in the US. And it affirmed Congress’ actions, allowing the US to avoid questions of compliance with its international obligations.” http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/01/18/us-supreme-court-rules-on-golan-v-holder-key-public-domain-case/ [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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