Access to Knowledge

Norm setting on copyright limitations and exceptions at WIPO: What is ready?

Over the past several weeks there have been a several cases where some well motivated and knowledgeable persons about copyright policy have expressed criticism of an effort by WIPO to negotiate a treaty for persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities, on the grounds that this is not ambitious enough, and a larger all inclusive treaty on limitations and exceptions should be the target.

WIPO patent committee resumes work on a positive agenda (March 2009)

The 13th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) will take place from March 23, 2009 to March 27, 2009 in Geneva at WIPO headquarters. The WIPO Report on the International Patent System is the first substantive agenda item of the 13th session.

Minnesota efforts to control college textbook costs

Jennea Ross’s December 28, 2008 report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune caught my eye:
Campuses across the state try new techniques and technology to fight soaring book prices.

One quote from the story follows:

Until this year, University of Minnesota students taking BioC-3021, a biochemistry class, paid $148 for a single, one-semester textbook.

Then professors got smart.

Unpacking the WIPO SCCR Limitations and Exceptions (to copyright) agenda

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) divides its norm setting work among several committees. The 17th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) met last week, and considered several topics, including the first in-depth effort to consider a work program on limitations and exceptions for copyright. This work program, first proposed formally by Chile (SCCR/13/5) among WIPO member states, is a work in progress.

WIPO SCCR: Chilean intervention on Exceptions and Limitations

The representative from the government of Chile (on behalf of Chile, Nicaragua, Brazil and Uruguay) delivered this very powerful statement this afternoon at WIPO during the Seventeenth Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

Chile proposed that the WIPO secretariat distributes a questionnaire on copyright exceptions and limitations between all WIPO Member States in order to continue with the information gathering process. Chile remarked on the good experience with the APEC survey on exceptions and limitations.

ONCE requests the support to the WBU WIPO treaty proposal

ONCE, the National Organization of the Spanish Blind, has written to the Spanish government requesting the support for the WBU WIPO treaty proposal.

ONCE argues that although Spain has a good exception for the blind, the WBU proposal will allow other governments to amend their copyright laws in a similar manner and that this proposal will also have benefits for the trans-border distribution of works. The letter highlights that the WBU treaty proposal will allow the creation of a global platform for the distribution of accessible documents.

SCCR Day 2: Re Limitations and Exceptions (Finally)

After a rather disappointing day 1 of the standing committee on copyright and related rights at WIPO, Day 2 is turning out to be a good constructive day.

New WIPO committee on Development Agenda gets underway

The newly created WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is meeting this week in Geneva from 3 March - 7 March 2008. The chair of the CDIP is Ambassador Trevor Clarke of Barbados. Today the discussion has focused mainly on the rules of procedure and modalities governing this Committee. Unfortunately, finding the 45 Development Agenda recommendations adopted at the WIPO General Assembly in September/October 2007 on the WIPO website is not easy.

KEI intervention at the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)

KEI Statement to the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)

March 3, 2008

Require or Encourage? IGWG text on open access

Re: The WHO IGWG Text on Access to Publicly Funded Research Provision, from “Requirement” to “Encouragement”?

One of the outcomes of the Nov. 5-10, 2007 second session of the WHO Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG2) is a provision on access to government funded research.

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