Two UN Agencies Come Out In Support Of Extension Of TRIPS LDC Waiver

medicines mixed

The United Nations Development Programme and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS have issued a joint statement supporting a request by least-developed countries to extend a waiver allowing them to abstain from enforcing patents on pharmaceutical products.

European Council Takes Action To Advance Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Persons

blind reader africa

The European Council of member states yesterday adopted a decision asking the European Commission to draft legislation on Europe’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty on increasing access to publications for blind and visually impaired readers.

Statement: Blumenthal Offers Amendment On Trade Transparency

confidential

Senators Blumenthal, Brown, Baldwin, and Udall introduced today a trade negotiation transparency bill that would require that all formal U.S. proposals for trade agreement restrictions on domestic regulations be posted on a website. This is a common sense policy that should be broadly supported. The bill would require policies similar to the transparency policies currently followed by the European Union and by intergovernmental organizations that set similar minimum regulatory standards. But it would be a major change in the current process for trade negotiations followed by the U.S. Trade Representative, which are infamously secretive, write Sean Flynn and David Levine.

WHO Leads Effort To Build R&D Roadmap For Future Epidemics

Panel Chair Barbara Stocking, photo credit John Zaracostas

The World Health Organization is working to learn from the fast response on research and development for Ebola that led to effective treatments in a short time. It hopes that this changes the way R&D for emergency vaccines is done forever.

Polish Government Drafts IP Law Reform

Polish_Patent_Office_sculpture

WARSAW — More than twenty years after Poland’s parliament passed the Authors’ and Related Rights law of 1994, the Polish government is drafting three bills to modify the country’s intellectual property legislation. The first of the drafts prepared by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National heritage was submitted to the Parliament in March, and is currently being deliberated, while the ministry is finishing work on the remaining two drafts.

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

At WIPO Event, Music Creators Tell Of Desperate Economic Times

IP Day 2015

NEW YORK – Musicians, songwriters, and producers recently gathered at a World Intellectual Property Organization event here and gave a stark depiction of a broken system that is not working for them financially, putting the very future of music-making at risk.

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.

European Commission Unveils Plans For Digital Single Market

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Today, the European Commission released details about its plans to create a Digital Single Market, with a set of actions to be delivered by the end of next year. The plan includes a competition inquiry of the European e-commerce sector launched today, and a commitment to change the European copyright law starting this year.

Dissecting The “Internet Freedom” Agenda

Real Cyber War cover

Both radical civil society organizations and mainstream defenders of the status quo agree that the free and open internet is threatened: see for example the Delhi Declaration, Bob Hinden’s 2014 Year End Thoughts, and Kathy Brown’s March 2015 statement at a UNESCO conference. The threats include government censorship and mass surveillance, but also the failure of governments to control rampant industry concentration and commercial exploitation of personal data, which increasingly takes the form of providing “free” services in exchange for personal information that is resold at a profit, or used to provide targeted advertising, also at a profit, Richard Hill writes in a review of the new book, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom.