Ratification Of Marrakesh Treaty For The Blind Postponed In Europe?

WIPO Marrakesh treaty1

The German Federation of Blind and Partially Sighted today sounded the alarm over another dispute about the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled”. The German and the Italian governments are blocking a compromise on the path for ratification in the European Union, the Blind Federation said in a press release. The EU Council of Ministers is expected to take a decision on the ratification next week

EU Parliament Considers Extension Of GI Protection To Non-Agricultural Products

Solingen knives

Just days before the start of the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a new Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origins and their International Registration, several committees of the European Parliament considered a recommendation to extend existing geographical indication protection in the European Union to non-agricultural products.

EU Copyright Review Divisive; French MEP Says UN Expert Lacks Balance

Farida Shaheed

The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, yesterday gave a presentation to the Legal Committee of the European Parliament, which currently is reviewing the EU Copyright Directive.

Largest Internet Exchange Point Announces Complaint Against Snooping

mass surveillance eye

MUNICH – It was a big day for counter-surveillance yesterday. Decix, the largest internet traffic exchange point (IXP) worldwide, announced it has had it with the snoops. Meanwhile, the Inquiry Committee came to the conclusion that the BND had withheld information from its oversight bodies on how broad the tapping really was. Separately, a two-part report presented to the LIBE Committee of the Parliament in Brussels focused on potential countermeasures to the “fact” of mass surveillance by intelligence agencies. And a resolution on mass surveillance was passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE).

German Big Brother Awards To German Secret Service, Interior Minister, And Barbie

Hello-Barbie

Mattel’s and Toytalks’ “Hello Barbie” Friday night received a Big Brother Award in Germany. The US doll found itself in illustrious company for the negative privacy award with two German Ministers of the Interior, a Minister of Health, several Amazon ventures and Elance-O-Desk. The Organization Digital Courage has handed out the awards since 2000.

Wave Of Protests Against TTIP, CETA, TISA

TTIP protests Munich

A wave of protest marches and information events against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) yesterday swept across Europe, the US, Canada and number of other countries. On the eve of the 9th TTIP negotiation round set for New York (20-24 April), thousands took to the streets in the European capitals of London, Brussels and Helsinki.

UN Human Rights Council Approves Expert On Privacy In The Digital Age

OHCHR-logo

The UN Human Rights Council at its 28th session today in Geneva adopted a resolution that establishes a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on Privacy in the Digital Age. The Council also approved a resolution extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights for 3 years, and took note of the current rapporteur’s recent report raising concerns about the impact of copyright on human rights.

EU Trade Commissioner Suggests Special Court For ISDS Cases

EU TTIP hearing Mar 2015

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem today defended the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement panels in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but offered several amendments for consideration.

NetMundial Initiative: Still Breathing

logo-cgi.br

After a report by the Register’s Kieren McCarthy on a postponement of the inaugural meeting of the NetMundial Initiative (NMI) Council discussions were revived over the need for the new body in several mailing lists.

Trade Outlook In 2015: The Race Of The Mega-Regionals

RCEP negotiators - or will it be them?

For international trade, 2015 will be “a year of work” rather than of finalisation, as Viviane Reding put it. The comment of the former European Commission vice president and Justice Commissioner focussed on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), as she is now the European Parliament’s rapporteur for TISA. The services agreement is still sailing under the radar compared to its bigger cousins, the US-EU bilateral Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Yet “a year of work” might well describe the 2015 agenda for the mega-regional trade negotiations too. Will any of them get to the finish line? A race is on in which the United States and European Union seem to anxiously look to China’s advance while fighting rising opposition at home.