This week in review … Establishment of Pan-African IP Organization delayed

9 12 2008

Delay to intellectual property plan for Africa

SciDev.Net, 4 December 2008

ABUJA, NIGERIA: A blueprint for a pan-African organisation that would promote cooperation on intellectual property issues was sent back to the drawing board this week, dashing hopes that it could be signed off by presidents in January. The decision to revise the plan was made by the steering committee of the African Ministerial Council for Science and Technology (AMCOST) bureau, which met in Abuja, Nigeria, from 3–4 December. African science ministers had agreed to establish a Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO) in the run-up to an African presidential meeting in January 2007. Among other things, it is hoped that the organisation will promote the protection of traditional knowledge and genetic resources. Read the article …

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Here’s one for the copyright lawyers with a mind for ethical matters

8 12 2008

Let’s just say I’ve purchased some media from overseas, legally and ethically from a source that doesn’t cheat the original artists out of their fair share.

Now let’s assume that the content of the media is in a language that I don’t speak and that it hasn’t yet been released with subtitles.


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Internet tops pirated disks in copyright suits: China

6 12 2008

By Xu Fang  |   2008-12-1


COPYRIGHT violations on the Internet have overtaken pirated disks as the major source of copyright infringement lawsuits being handled by courts, judges said.

A local court will begin a hearing today over a lawsuit filed by six major studios of the Motion Picture Association of America against, one of the biggest video information and downloaded software providers in China.


This week in review … Controversy remains on including intellectual property issues in WTO Doha round of negotiations

2 12 2008

WTO IP Discussion in Question With Possible Ministerial on Horizon

IP Watch, 28 November 2008

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Delegates are buckling down on key negotiating issues in the final days they have to decide whether or not there can be a high-level meeting of government ministers in December, and intellectual property-related issues appear still to be at an impasse with another IP meeting scheduled for Monday. While negotiations on agriculture and non-agricultural market access have continued to dominate discussions in the past few weeks – and while progress in those two areas will be the determining factor in whether or not the WTO brings decision-making ministers to Geneva in December – IP issues resurfaced as a sticky area of discussion last week when proponents of parallelism between three IP areas insisted Director General Pascal Lamy find a way forward on the issues.


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UK consumers, Big Content battle over three-strikes rules

1 12 2008

With the government pledging to help rightsholders clamp down on illicit P2P file-sharing, digital rights groups have more than a few concerns about how this might work. The music industry loves the plan, however.

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Whoops: UK senior citizens targeted for downloading gay porn

1 12 2008

Some UK Internet users are finding themselves accused of copyright infringement in the form of pre-court settlement letters, but it’s not about music. This time, it’s hardcore gay porn that’s apparently all the rage among illegal downloaders, and the production company wants everyone to pay up.

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This week in review … Push for TRIPS amendment continues, DG asked to lead the process

25 11 2008

Push for TRIPS Changes Reaches Highest Level at WTO as Meetings Intensify

IP Watch, 21 November 2008

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Proponents of amending the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement to increase protection for biodiversity and for geographically-specific products are insisting Director General Pascal Lamy himself lead the process for resolving the issues. Meetings on intellectual property issues have been held periodically throughout the week, including Friday, and will continue next week, according to sources. A procedural decision on three intellectual property (IP) issues is expected next week, one source said. The IP amendments relate to the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, and include a proposal to amend TRIPS to include mandatory disclosure of origin on genetic resources used in patent applications (and, possibly, a guarantee of prior informed consent of communities who own the resources) – referred to as the TRIPS/CBD amendment as it is inspired by provisions in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They also include a proposal to extend high-level protection of geographical indications – or products associated with a particular place and characteristics – on wines and spirits to other goods, an initiative referred to as “GI extension.”


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This week in review … Ethnobotanist aims to save India’s traditional herbal remedies

25 11 2008

Botanist on mission to save rare Indian herbal remedies

The Hindu, 23 November 2008

LUCKNOW, INDIA: Ethno-botanist Deepak Acharya has spent eight years in the Satpura mountains in Madhya Pradesh, parts of which lie cut off from civilisation, driven by a single goal – documenting and salvaging India’s traditional herbal remedies before they are lost to the world. Dubbed as a “modern day herb hunter,” 32-year-old Acharya has been painstakingly tracking traditional healers, called Bhagats in Dang (Sahyadri ranges) and Bhumkas in Patalkot (Satpura) in central India whose repertoire of remedies is known to cure some of the most unyielding human ailments. Prompted by concerns that the priceless heritage of tribal medicine residing within the ageing generation of healers would be gone with them, he made up his mind to help preserve the pool of knowledge, nurtured by oral tradition. The young botanist’s quest paid off years later. He painstakingly built up a catalogue of hundreds of medicinal plants and tribal treatments. Acharya proposed that the knowledge of traditional healers should be protected under intellectual property rights (IPR), as a way of making them economically independent and self-reliant, fully integrated with the mainstream. Read the article …

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EU bashes DRM, won’t support “three strikes” rules

24 11 2008

France and the European Commission have fought another round in their battle over how to deal with online piracy. This time, the Council on Education, Youth and Culture blocked a French effort to write “three strikes” style penalties into its conclusions on distributing online content.

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Music Sampling Does Not Infringe on Copyright, But…

23 11 2008

The German Supreme Court (BGH) clarified last week that sampling does not infringe on copyright in the work from which samples were taken for the purpose of creating a new work. There is a catch hiding in the details, though.

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