Access to Knowledge
On January 31, 2009, KEI submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to USTR for copies of seven documents containing much of the negotiating text of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Today the White House office the United States Trade Representative denied the request, claiming the documents are “information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 Statement to the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)
March 3, 2008