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Why is it a big mistake to link funding of R&D costs with drug prices?:

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

59 U.S. Senators write the EU to support Oracle acquisition of MYSQL

On the 24th of November, 59 U.S. Senators wrote the European Union, asking that the Oracle/Sun merger be allowed, without addressing the anticompetitive aspects of the Oracle acquisition of MySQL. The letter reflects the enormous influence wielded by Oracle, a company that generates enormous fees licensing database software to the federal government.

Tiflolibros Letter to Kareem Dale regarding WIPO treaty for disabilities

On November 23, 2009, Pablo Lecuona from Tiflolibros Argentina sent a letter to Kareem A. Dale, the Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, asking the Obama Administration to support the WIPO Copyright treaty for the blind, visually impaired and people with reading disabilities. Mr. Lecuona has also submitted this letter to the U.S. Copyright Office, and the USPTO as a reply in the request for comments on the WIPO Treaty proposal. Among other things, the Tifloibros letter says:

Senators Sanders and Brown ask White House to make ACTA text public

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have written to USTR, asking that the ACTA text be made public. The strongly worded letter was sent to Ambassador Ron Kirk, the head of the United States Trade Representative, an office of the White House.

The letter states:

UNDP ranks the U.S. 26ths in term of life expectancy at birth

As the U.S. considers health reform legislation, it is useful to review how countries rank in terms of life expectancy at birth.

From the 2009 UNDP Human Development Report statistical appendix:

In their own words: why they oppose the treaty to facilitate access and sharing of works for people with reading disabilities

Now that we know who are the people opposed to an international treaty to facilitate access and sharing of accessible formats of works for blind people and people with reading disabilities, let’s read what their arguments against the treaty are.

I was able to highlight 10 main arguments and you can check in their own words below if you do not believe me:

WIPO CDIP approves certain components of Project on Intellectual Property and the Public Domain

The Fourth Session of WIPO's Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is taking place from 16 November 2009 to 20 November 2009.

Among the projects under consideration this week is is the project on Intellectual Property and the Public Domain based on recommendations 16 and 20 of the Development Agenda.

Recommendation 16 states:

"Who on earth would oppose a treaty to facilitate access to information and knowledge to people with reading disabilities?"

I am often asked "who on earth would oppose a treaty to facilitate access to information and knowledge to people with reading disabilities?" Please read my selected quotes from the comments posted today on the Copyright office page here. But I would also like to highlight some really positive and supporting comments about the treaty. There are more of them than the negative ones but do they have the same weight?

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) & the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) comments on treaty for access

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) submitted their comments in response to a Notice of Inquiry put forth by the United States Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). ACB is a leading U.S. consumer organization of blind or visually impaired individuals. Access to information is a critical area of interest for ACB, and expanding the availability of accessible format materials is viewed as highly beneficial to the blindness community in the United States and throughout the world.

LCA, EFF, and COSLA filed comments regarding the treaty to facilitate access and sharing for people with reading disabilities.

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries.

Collectively, the ALA, ACRL and ARL represent over 139,000 libraries in the United States employing approximately 350,000 librarians and other personnel.

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