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 Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns 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.

Analysis: Monkey In The Middle Of Selfie Copyright Dispute

The recent case of a monkey selfie that went viral on the web raised thorny issues of ownership between a (human) photographer and Wikimedia. Two attorneys from Morrison & Foerster sort out the relevant copyright law.


Latest Comments
  • are you aware that within the photographic industr... »
  • A VPN is a virtual private network, which generall... »

  • 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 >

    Great Expectations For WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly On Treaty For Blind

    Published on 16 December 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    An Extraordinary General Assembly will take place tomorrow at the World Intellectual Property Organization to decide on convening a high-level meeting in 2013 to agree on a treaty on exceptions and limitations to copyright for visually impaired people, enabling them to have a better access to works in special formats.

    The 42nd WIPO General Assembly (and the 22nd Extraordinary) session is taking place from 17-18 December. The Assembly will evaluate the draft text on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities and decide whether to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013.

    The decision on the diplomatic conference is expected to be taken on Monday, according to sources, and delegates would then open the Preparatory Committee of the Diplomatic Conference.

    According to the agenda [pdf], the preparatory committee will consider: the draft rules of procedure of the diplomatic conference, the list of states and organisations to be invited, and the agenda, dates, venue and other organisational questions.

    Also on the agenda are draft administrative provisions and final clauses of the treaty to be considered by the diplomatic conference. Those are “modeled on the corresponding provisions of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, adopted on June 24, 2012, as the most recent and relevant expression of the will of the Member States of WIPO with respect to such provisions in international legal instruments,” according to the document.

    The provisions relating to the treaty include the terms of eligibility for becoming party, obligations, signature, entry into force, effective date of becoming party, denunciation, languages, and the depositary of the treaty (WIPO Director General).

    The draft treaty text is the one adopted at the 25th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on 23 November (IPW, WIPO, 24 November 2012). The fundamental aim of the instrument was to facilitate cross-border exchange of books in special formats, currently forbidden by international copyright law.

    Outstanding Issues for Negotiation

    Delegates to the Assembly are not expected to discuss the text but evaluate its maturity so that a diplomatic conference can be convened to reach final agreement on a treaty. Some outstanding issues remain in the text as countries could not find agreement during the last sessions of the SCCR.

    A major hurdle is the issue of commercial availability, which would request that entities authorised through the terms of the treaty make sure when importing a book in any accessible format that this particular book is not already commercially available on the national market in accessible format. Developing countries, and in particular African countries, have said that the provision would be inapplicable in Africa as it would create a burden on already resource-constrained authorised entities, like charities, and could effectively allow a publisher to prevent imports of books destined to an authorised entity.

    Developing countries also worry about the concept of “reasonable price” in relation to commercial availability. Several African country sources told Intellectual Property Watch at the last session of the SCCR in November, that this language was equivocal since the term “reasonable” could be interpreted in several ways.

    Another major issue is the interpretation of the three-step test, which has been forcefully maintained in the text by the European Union, according to some sources. Some developing countries and in particular the African Group have been fighting this inclusion in the treaty. The text provides conditions for the exceptions to copyright to be applied, in an effort to protect the interests of right holders and authors.

    The so-called three step test stems from Article 9(2) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works on possible exceptions to the right of reproduction. This language has also inspired Article 13 of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    The Berne Convention states that exceptions and limitations should be limited to certain special cases, “provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.”

    In the draft treaty text, Article I states that the tree-step test “should be interpreted in a manner that respects the legitimate interests of third parties,” including “[a] interest deriving from human rights and fundamental freedom, [b] interest in competition, notably on secondary markets, [c] other public interests, notably in scientific progress and cultural, educational, social or economic development.” The article is bracketed, signifying lack of agreement.

    US Hesitant on Treaty, EU Said Approved it at Last Session

    For a long time, the European Union and the United States were in favour of a soft instrument while developing countries insisted on having an international legally binding treaty creating exceptions and limitations to copyright in favour of visually impaired people.

    The European Union presented a joint recommendation [pdf] at the 20th session of the SCCR in June 2010, and the US had a consensus instrument [pdf], both of which were not legally binding proposals.

    At the last meeting of the SCCR in November, the European Union said it was now in favour of a treaty. “Our goal is clear,” said the EU delegate, “we want to ensure that visually impaired people anywhere in the world have the same access to books as any other persons.” But this has to be in accordance with an effective protection of the rights of creators, he said, adding that the EU and its member states now are “in a position to negotiate the conclusion of an instrument, including a binding treaty.” (IPW, WIPO, 19 November 2012).

    It seems the US is the only delegation not positively agreeing on a treaty (versus a softer instrument), although they did not voice opposition in the last session – they just did not mention the specific term “treaty”.

    The World Blind Union said in a December press release that “The USA delegation still has not pronounced the word ‘treaty’ at these negotiations. It is now the only major negotiator not to do so.” “Historically, WIPO only deals in treaties to protect publishers’ rights. WBU is urging negotiators to afford them the same level of protection for the human rights of blind people,” the release said.

    “It is a sad fact that even in this age of digital information transfer and narration software, the access visually impaired people have to publications in formats they can read is still unnecessarily restricted, in part due to outdated copyright law,” Dan Pescod, who leads WBU’s European campaign for the treaty told Intellectual Property Watch.

    “The 17-18 December WIPO EGA gives the governments of the world a chance to call for a 2013 diplomatic conference to finalise a treaty for visually impaired people,” he said. “WBU urges them to seize this make or break opportunity to improve blind people’s access to information.”

    If a diplomatic conference is convened, “the WIPO General Assembly is further invited to direct the SCCR to meet in special session for three days in February 2013 to undertake further text-based work on document SCCR/25/2,” states document WO/GA/42/2, which contains the draft articles.

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO Visually Impaired Treaty: Voices From Africa On Dire Situation | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] WIPO are expected to decide tomorrow on whether to proceed (IPW, WIPO, 16 December 2012). [...]

    2. WIPO Members En Route To Agreement On Diplomatic Conference | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] The Assembly is meeting from 17-18 December. The treaty would provide limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing cross-border dissemination of works in accessible formats for visually impaired people (IPW, WIPO, 16 December 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 54.224.225.86