SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Subscribing entitles a reader to complete stories on all topics released as they happen, special features, confidential documents and access to the complete, searchable story archive online back to 2004.
IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

IP-Watch interns Brittany Ngo (Yale Graduate School of Public Health) and Caitlin McGivern (University of Law, London) talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

Inside Views

Submit ideas to info [at] ip-watch [dot] ch!

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.

Quantitative Analysis Of Contributions To NETMundial Meeting

A quantitative analysis of the 187 submissions to the April NETmundial conference on the future of internet governance shows broad support for improving security, ensuring respect for privacy, ensuring freedom of expression, and globalizing the IANA function, analyst Richard Hill writes.


Latest Comments
  • Why should anyone care what James Anaya thinks? In... »
  • If this goes ahead, as the EU will "speak" for all... »

  • For IPW Subscribers

    A directory of IP delegates in Geneva. Read more>

    A guide to Geneva-based public health and intellectual property organisations. Read More >


    Monthly Reporter

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter, published from 2004 to January 2011, is a 16-page monthly selection of the most important, updated stories and features, plus the People and News Briefs columns.

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter is available in an online archive on the IP-Watch website, available for IP-Watch Subscribers.

    Access the Monthly Reporter Archive >

    WIPO Members Inch Toward Visually Impaired Treaty

    Published on 19 October 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    After three days of mostly informal discussions and a set of succeeding draft texts of what could become a treaty for visually impaired persons, World Intellectual Property Organization members tonight closed discussions with yet another version of the text showing agreement in some areas and work still to be done.

    At issue is an international instrument that would facilitate access to copyrighted reading and educational material in special formats for visually impaired persons, through a set of exceptions and limitations to copyright. WIPO delegates met for three days to advance a text prior to the next session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) from 19-23 November. The members met in an inter-sessional meeting from 17-19 October.

    In most articles of the new text [pdf], the final document of the inter-sessional, there are a number of brackets remaining (reflecting lack of agreement) but some articles were agreed upon, such as the definition of “accessible format copy” in Article A and sub-articles C.2 (A) and (B), on exceptions and limitations in national copyright law.

    “We are not after a trophy treaty” – Christopher Friend, World Blind Union

    However, some points of disagreement remain, for example, in Article Bbis, on the nature and the scope of obligations. Brazil, India, the European Union, Nigeria and the United States have agreed to work together to reach a language that can be proposed to the next SCCR meeting, according to sources.

    Meeting Chair Darlington Mwape, the Zambian ambassador, said other member states were invited to submit their comments to the working group by 29 October, which in turn should submit some language to the WIPO secretariat by 12 November.

    “Progress has been registered,” Mwape said, according to sources, but he added that now that the positions of member states are well known, delegations should come prepared with clear options to negotiate and close the gap at the next SCCR meeting, less than a month away.

    Other sticking points are: authorised entity, cross-border exchange, and the interpretation of the three-step test for limitations and exceptions found in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

    Some other articles were not much discussed, the WIPO secretariat said according to sources, for lack of time or because those articles depended on other articles which needed further discussion, such as the definition of reasonable price in Article 1. Some articles still have alternative paragraphs, such as Article D on cross-border exchange of accessible format copies.

    NGOs Kept at the Door of Negotiations, Felt Left in the Dark

    Most of the discussions during the three days of the inter-sessional meeting were held behind closed doors, without the presence of observers. Non-governmental organisations felt they could not really follow the process.

    For David Hammerstein of the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, a Brussels-based non-governmental organisation, it is an “outrageous and a clear lack of democratic transparency to maintain civil society 95 percent outside of the negotiations,” he told Intellectual Property Watch.

    Allan Adler, general counsel and vice president for government affairs of the Association of American Publishers, told Intellectual Property Watch that it had been arduous to follow progress as the process has been largely held outside of hearing and it was difficult to tell from working papers.

    Members of the World Blind Union said that although they had been kept outside of direct discussions, member states had consulted them regularly, and they felt they were considered a relevant party in the negotiations.

    Brackets and New Text Endanger Swift Progression, NGOs Say

    However, the WBU members said they felt disappointed that instead of narrowing the text, delegates seemed to have added new text and more brackets. One important point for WBU is that “authorised entity” should include all organisations that would have a right to provide reading and educational material to visually impaired persons, including small organisations in developing countries.

    Hammerstein told Intellectual Property Watch that on authorised entity, the EU had proposed a two-tiered approach with one set of entities having the right to export and produce copyrighted work for visually impaired persons, and another set of entities that would not be able to distribute digital work and unable to do any cross border exchange. Most visually impaired people use digital audio format, he said.

    The EU Parliament and the EU Commission both agree on the necessity of a binding treaty, he said, but the competence for negotiating such an instrument remains with the European Council, the representatives of the 27 EU governments. EU member states have not yet adopted the negotiating mandate because they want to assess the text before adopting that mandate, he said.

    The real problem of this negotiation, Hammerstein added, is the fear of some countries such as EU members of establishing a precedent in copyright exceptions. “They want to establish a firewall against copyright flexibilities even if holding millions of blind people hostages” to this agenda, he said. Some “300 million people have become hostages to the global copyright war between greater flexibility and greater intellectual property rights enforcement,” he said.

    Adler said the question is whether or not the working documents have grown beyond focusing on the main goal of the instrument which is to insure greater availability of protected works to visually impaired people. Some additional issues that have been put on the table might not be necessary and seem like efforts to change already agreed upon and established international instruments, he added.

    For example, he said, some delegations have tried to change the interpretation of the “three-step test” in relation to this instrument, but for right holders this is not at issue as it is already well established in a number of international instruments, such as the Berne Convention, the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and the newly adopted Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. He asked whether those countries are trying to solve a problem for visually impaired persons or change international law.

    In closing remarks, an industry representative called on member states to pursue two objectives: increase access to books for visually impaired persons; and to ensure the instrument is in harmony and without prejudice to the international copyright framework. He said the instrument should be narrow in scope, reaffirm the three-step test, be flexible, and insure appropriate care of digital files.

    Time is short, said Christopher Friend of the WBU, voicing concerns in closing remarks about the “enormous amount” of text to be cleaned up and finished before the extraordinary General Assembly in December, for which he said he had received an invitation to register.

    “We are not after a trophy treaty,” he said, but want to put books and information in the hands of visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities in the formats that are needed.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Slow Progress on WIPO Treaty for Copyright Exceptions for People with Disabilities says:

      [...] Watch reports that many NGOs felt left out of the negotiations.  David Hammerstein from the Trans Atlantic [...]

    2. In Final Stretch Of Drafting Of WIPO Treaty For The Blind, Tensions High | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] Article Bbis on the nature and the scope of obligations under the treaty/instrument was left entirely bracketed during the “inter-sessional” meeting on the treaty held from 17-19 October tasked with advancing work on the draft text (IPW, WIPO, 19 October 2012). [...]


    Leave a Reply

    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.

     

     
    Your IP address is 107.21.163.227