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New Ad Hoc Observers for the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (Dec.14-18, 2009)

There will be new participants at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (Nineteenth Session) Geneva, December 14 to 18, 2009.

Here is the lists of non-governmental organizations, which have requested to be granted observer status in sessions of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), according to SCCR’s Rules of Procedure (see document SCCR/1/2, paragraph 10).

  • African Union of the Blind (AFUB)
  • All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB)
  • Asociación Civil Tiflonexos – Biblioteca Tiflolibros (Tiflolibros),

Wikileaks reports on IFPMA infiltration of WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 10:42PM (EST), the site Wikileaks, posted this pithy entry on Twitter: "Big Pharma infiltrates WHO Expert Working Group process; WikiLeaks infiltrates Big Pharma".

Dec 7, 2009 letter from Ambassador Kirk to Senator Sanders and Brown on ACTA transparency, says nothing new

On December 7, 2009, Ambassador Ron Kirk faxed a two page letter to Senator Bernie Sanders. (Page 1, Page 2). The letter made no concessions, and broke no new ground, as USTR continues to stonewall its critics on the transparency issue.

Kirk was responding to this November 23, 2009 letter from Senators Sanders and Brown to Kirk.

Transparency of FTAA negotiations, compared to ACTA

In a recent statement to Wired, USTR tried to justify the secrecy of the ACTA negotiations as follows:

The Administration also recognizes that confidentiality in international negotiations among sovereign entities is the standard practice to enable officials to engage in frank exchanges of views, positions, and specific negotiating proposals, and thereby facilitate the negotiation and compromise that are necessary to reach agreement on complex issues.

29 Reply comments in WIPO Treaty for Blind/Disabilities U.S. request for comment

http://www.copyright.gov/docs/sccr/comments/2009/reply-2/

Organization/Comment

1 Meredith Filak
2 Malini Aisola, Knowledge Ecology International, and Meredith Filak
3 Pablo Lecuona, Tiflolibro
4 Brad Huther, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
5 Dan Pescod, Royal National Institute of Blind People
6 Nirmita Narasimhan, Centre for Internet and Society
7 Margaret Chase, Radio Reading Service
8 Robert Martinengo, Center for Accessible Publishing
9 Steven M. Rothstein, Perkins School for the Blind
10 Harold Martin, WVTF Public Radio

Seven Secret ACTA documents from 2008

A KEI FOIA request for these seven documents was denied on the grounds of national security. (Links to March 2009 news storied about this here). You decide if these seven documents present a risk to the national security of the United States, or if the White House has been misusing the national security exception to avoid a public debate on public policy issues relating to the enforcement of intellectual property rights:

Sign-on Letter for Amendment 2858 Ethical Pathway for Generic Pharmaceutical Products, 111th Congress

This sign-on letter has been closed

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has submitted the amendment 2858 to the health reform bill, to create an Ethical Pathway for the registration of generic medicines.

For background on the substance and rationale, I have a short blog describing the amendment here http://keionline.org/node/707.

Google files strong comments in support of WIPO treaty for reading disabilities

December 4, 2009

Maria Pallante
Associate Register for Policy &
International Affairs
U.S. Copyright Office

Re: Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comments
on the Topic of Facilitating Access to Copyrighted
Works for the Blind and Other Persons with Disabilities

Dear Maria:

Dec 4, 2009 reply comments on WIPO treaty for people who are blind or with reading disabilities

Attached are several reply comments to the Copyright Office and the USPTO regarding the WIPO draft proposal to facilitate access to copyrighted works for persons, who are blind or have other reading disabilities, in response to the Federal Register Notice of October 13, 2009.

The deadline for filing was Friday, December 4, 2009. Eventually the Copyright Office will publish all of the reply comments on the Internet, and we will provide a link.

We now have comments received from various parties, including:

2009 WBU/KEI pamphlet on WIPO treaty for disabilities

In 2009, the WBU and KEI have collaborated on a new pamphlet to provide background information on the proposed WIPO treaty for persons who are blind, visually impaired or have other disabilities. A PDF of the document is available here. A version in word is available here. We also have a pdf file that is more appropriate for professional printing.

Senator Sanders Amendment 2858 would replace data exclusivity with cost sharing, if new trials violate medical ethics

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has offered an amendment to the health care reform bill that would eliminate data exclusivity in cases where duplicating clinical trials involving human subjects would violate Article 20 of the Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human subjects. The relevant article from the Declaration of Helsinki reads as follows:

Ambassador Kirk: People would be “walking away from the table” if the ACTA text is made public

After attending the three day WTO Ministerial meeting in Geneva, I took the non-stop United Airlines Flight back to Washington, DC. On the airplane were a number of U.S. government officials including the head of USTR, Ambassador Ron Kirk. I had a chance to talk to Kirk about the secrecy of the ACTA agreement. He said the ACTA text would be made public, “when it is finished.” I told him it that was too late, and the public wanted the text out now, before it is too late to influence anything.

Ticketmaster merger threatens consumer interest - Public interest and consumer groups ask DOJ to block merger

Washington, DC. December 1, 2009. Five of the nation’s most prominent public interest groups today called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to block the proposed merger by entertainment giants Ticketmaster and Live Nation. DOJ is currently reviewing the merger and is expected to make a decision in the next month. The organizations include Consumer Action, the National Consumers League (NCL), the American Antitrust Institute, the Consumer Federation of America and Knowledge Ecology International.

Seventh WTO Ministerial will take decision on IPR 'non-violation' violations and 'ecommerce'

The Seventh WTO Ministerial Conference is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland from November 30, 2009 to December 2, 2009. Unlike previous Ministerial Conferences in Seattle (1999), Doha (2001), Cancun (2003) and Hong Kong (2005), the Geneva Ministerial is a non-negotiation. This hum drum affair is being held only because of the obligations of Article IV, paragraph 1 of the WTO Agreement which states that

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