[Updated Dec 3, 2013]. USTR released a document describing several policy changes in its Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement proposals on provisions related to the prices of medicines. It is not known whether these changes are related to public pressure that has been mounting on USTR after the leaks of its positions on Wikileaks last week. But there have been reports of increased concern being expressed on Capital Hill and to the White House about the lack of transparency in the negotiating process since the leaks, perhaps prompting this new step towards explaining some of its most controversial positions in public. This note provides some preliminary analysis of what we learn from this new statement.
12:15 -1:15 | Room 528
The book publishing industry is in the midst of a major transition. When publication and distribution take place electronically, how much should an e-book cost and who should decide, the publisher or the retailer? Amazon and Apple have answered these questions differently, and earlier this year, a federal district court held that Apple and five major publishers violated the antitrust laws by conspiring to raise the retail price of e-books. This decision is now on appeal to the Second Circuit.
Senators Dick Durbin and Al Franken today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses. The licenses will allow students and educators to “access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated.” The full text of the bill is here.
Creative Commons U.S.A. Director Michael Carroll issued the following statement:
Today, PIJIP Director Michael Carroll will deliver a talk at the Princeton University Lewis Library, on the topic. “Sharing Research Data: When, in What Form, with Whom, and at What Cost?”
In the midst of the controversy surrounding the release of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiating text on intellectual property by Wikileaks yesterday, over 80 law professors of intellectual property law and related disciplines have written to President Obama, Members of Congress and the United States Trade Representative calling for the creation of a public process to vet the TPP’S intellectual property proposals.
The letter specifically notes that “even in light of yesterday’s release by WikiLeaks,” public debate on the agreement’s proposals “beyond speculation would be impossible since there has not been any official release of text.”
I’m pleased to inform you that yesterday, the WCL team consisting of Eric Gleysteen and Liz Dukette won the 2013 National IP LawMeet, besting law schools from around the country.
Two winning teams were selected in the competition (one representing each “side” of the hypothetical negotiation scenario). The team that won the competition on the opposing side was from Berkeley, so the WCL team is in very good company!
[Originally published in the National Constitution Center's Blog (Link)] Perhaps like many of you, family conversations around my dinner table have recently included the issue over the Washington area professional football team’s name. I have two sons who unsurprisingly support their local football team. Perhaps more surprisingly, my boys are also, it seems, fierce supporters of the First Amendment. So our conversations on this topic have more resembled a debate. The fact that I’m a trademark law professor has failed to intimidate them.
I can’t credit my boys with advancing any novel arguments in favor of the Washington football team keeping its name, but I will give them credit for covering all the major lines of argumentation.
I am writing to let you know about an exciting event on users rights in copyright law happening at American University on Thursday. The event is open to the public and will be webcast.
The global future of cultural institutions, information industries, and individual creative work hinges, in part, on present decisions about the scope and character of copyright exceptions and limitations. Almost everyone agrees that modern copyright law needs to be flexible in order to accommodate rapid technological change and evolving media uses. In the United States fair use is the flexible instrument of choice. Author’s rights systems in Europe are generally deemed to be less flexible and less tolerant to open-ended limitations and exceptions. But are they really?
Bernt Hugenholtz, Professor of law and Director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam, will address this question at the Second Annual Peter Jaszi Distinguished Lecture at WCL this Thursday, November 7th. He will make the case that (1) author’s rights systems can be made as flexible as common law copyright systems, and (2) that the existing EU legal framework does not preclude the development of flexible norms at the national level.
For registration, and for more details on the event, please click here.
Professor Peter Jaszi was quoted in a recent Washington Post article on copyright extension terms. Jaszi describes the restaurant industry’s campaign for broader copyright exemption for small bars and restaurants as “a hostage situation” and the reason why The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act did not pass until 1998 despite the legislation being introduced in 1995.
The rest of the article focuses on whether copyright holders will get another extension of copyright terms before their works fall into the public domain on January 1, 2019. Read the full-length article here.
In the past week or so, we have been discussing the pledges that companies make regarding their patents. These come up frequently in the area of standards-development and FRAND commitments, but other places as well. In the past few days, the General Counsel of both Cisco Systems and Verizon made public pledges that their companies would not sell patents to non-practicing entities (NPEs, referring to the type of NPEs known as Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) or, colloquially, patent “trolls”). We have added these new pledges to the compendium of non-SDO patent pledges collected here:
The Verizon pledge is interesting, because it was made orally by Randy Milch (Verizon GC) at a conference held at University of Colorado. Cisco’s pledge appears in an op-ed piece that Mark Chandler (Cisco GC) posted in Forbes.
If you are aware of other “patent pledges” made outside of the formal standards-development setting, please let us know!