WHO Ebola Vaccine Meeting Draws Commitment From Pharma, Donors; MSF Sees Need For Concrete Actions

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A high-level meeting convened by the World Health Organization yesterday on the issue of access to and financing of Ebola vaccines resulted in a set of commitments, though not with sufficient urgency for those working on the ground. The pharmaceutical industry committed to scale up production, while donors pledged funds without disclosing how deep their pockets might be.

New To Copyright: Canada’s Idea For Political Advertising Exception

Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover

The Canadian Conservative government is considering a new copyright exception for political advertising that would be unique in the world and address an issue already covered by Canada’s constitutional rights, copyright experts said.

The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 And Its Functioning So Far

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It’s been a little over two years since the Copyright Act, 1957 was extensively amended in 2012 with far-reaching ramifications for all categories of stakeholders. The amendments purported to introduce a level playing field for different categories of right holders in the entertainment industry, recognise the access needs of users of the copyrighted works in general and visually impaired population of the country in particular, align the copyright regime of the country with rapid advances in technology and streamline copyright enforcement and administration. To gauge the influence of the amendments on copyright regime in India as well as to see if their implementation so far has been in sync with the legislative intent, this article seeks to evaluate the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 as well as their working, writes Abhai Pandey.

Life Sciences Stakeholders Assess Accessing Emerging Markets

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PARIS –Life sciences stakeholders at a recent conference explored matters associated with market access in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

This Week’s Vote Will Show Who Finnish MPs Listen To On Copyright, EFFi Says

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On 24 October, the Finnish Parliament is expected to vote on the Citizens’ Initiative for Common Sense for Copyright Act, which aims to make Finnish copyright law more user-oriented. But with a proposal to gut the Act, a counter-proposal to save it, and unprecedented lobbying expected, the next two days should be interesting, writes Electronic Frontier Finland.

UPOV Meetings Conclude With New Observers; Tanzania Can Become UPOV Member

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The international body protecting new varieties of plants concluded a week-long set of meetings with a number of decisions, among which was the re-appointment of its secretary general, and the addition of an international organisation and a farmers’ organisation as observers. The national legislation on plant breeders of Zanzibar was approved, opening the way for Tanzania to become a UPOV member.

Ebola Vaccine Candidates Centre Of Attention; Clinical Trials, IP Negotiations Start

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Today, the World Health Organization gave a press briefing to update journalists on what to expect in the near future on Ebola treatments and vaccines.

Review of “Digital Depression: Information Technology And Economic Crisis”

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Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have revolutionized and disrupted all aspects of human activity, and even behaviour. This has resulted in many academic publications and much discussion, including in intergovernmental bodies, regarding various issues, including how best to govern the internet.

Dan Schiller’s book helps us to understand the background of these events, which have affected economic and political power relations, and how US policies have consistently favoured capital over labour, and have resulted in transfers of vast sums from developing countries to developed countries, writes Richard Hill.

USTR’s Investigations On IP Rights Against India: Is There A Tenable Case?

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On 14 October, the US Trade Representative (USTR) began the out-of-cycle review (OCR) of India’s intellectual property (IP) laws, the mandate which it gave itself in the 2014 Special 301 Report. Like several years in the past, the USTR once again included India in the Priority Watch List, but this time, India’s IP laws are being subjected to the additional scrutiny through an OCR. It is to be seen whether the OCR sets the stage for naming India as a Priority Foreign Country, viewed by the USTR as worst offender of intellectual property rights, in the next Special 301 report. USTR’s inclusion of India for the OCR was a reflection of the influence that the domestic lobbies have on the country’s engagement with its partner countries, and about USTR’s consistency with World Trade Organization rules, writes Biswajit Dhar.

The TPP’s New Plant-Related Intellectual Property Provisions

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The newly-released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intellectual property (IP) chapter would help seed conglomerates like Monsanto prevent farmers from saving and using seeds that contain patented plant materials, even when such use is for their own personal consumption. The TPP language would also prevent breeders from using plants seeds that contain patented plant materials to research and develop new varieties. Most plant variety protection (PVP) systems allow farmers to save and reuse seeds (for noncommercial purposes) and permit breeders to use protected plant varieties to research and develop new varieties. In contrast, patents on plant-related inventions, as outlined in the TPP, may have few exceptions. This new text constitutes a huge step in the wrong direction, changing the plant IP regimes of many of the negotiating countries to the detriment of their populations, writes Public Citizen.