Archive for July 4th, 2012

The European Parliament Rejects ACTA: The Impossible Becomes Possible

On October 23, 2007, the U.S., E.U., Canada, and a handful of other countries announced plans to the negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The behind-the-scenes discussions had apparently been ongoing for several years, leading some countries to believe that a full agreement could be concluded within a year to coincide […]

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July 4, 2012 15 comments News

The Strategy Behind the U.S. Call For a Fair Use Provision in the TPP

The USTR took many by surprise yesterday by announcing that it will seek the inclusion of a fair use provision within the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. It specifically stated:

For the first time in any U.S. trade agreement, the United States is proposing a new provision, consistent with the internationally-recognized “3-step test,” that will obligate Parties to seek to achieve an appropriate balance in their copyright systems in providing copyright exceptions and limitations for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. These principles are critical aspects of the U.S. copyright system, and appear in both our law and jurisprudence. The balance sought by the U.S. TPP proposal recognizes and promotes respect for the important interests of individuals, businesses, and institutions who rely on appropriate exceptions and limitations in the TPP region.

The USTR announcement was welcomed by civil society groups, though most noted that the specific text was not released and that it could actually create new limits on fair use. That is certainly a concern – release of the text is essential – but the attempt to export a U.S.-style fair use provision makes sense for several reasons.

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July 4, 2012 8 comments News

Canadian Government Announces Plans To Block Copyright Levy on MicroSD Cards

The Canadian government announced yesterday that it will use its regulation-making power to block the attempt to apply the private copying levy to MicroSD cards. I noted last November that it had this power to stop a Copyright Board hearing into the matter and that the Canadian Private Copying Collective […]

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July 4, 2012 6 comments News