Post Tagged with: "WIPO"

Copyright Lobby Group Makes the Case for Flexible Digital Lock Rules

The International Intellectual Property Association, which represents large copyright lobby groups such as the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, and ESA, has released its annual report on the state of intellectual property protection in dozens of countries around the world. The report is designed to convince the U.S. government to place countries on the “Special 301 watchlist”. Canada is regularly cited, though Canadian officials have noted:

In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It’s driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

This report is what Canadian officials have in mind when they talk about it being driven entirely by U.S. industry. There are many aspects worth noting in this year’s report – the criticism of countries like Vietnam and the Philippines for encouraging the use of open source software (the Vietnamese program was established to help reduce software piracy), the criticism of Bill C-32’s digital lock provision that allows cabinet to establish new exceptions (the IIPA would like any new exceptions to be both limited and for a limited time), and the near universal demand that countries spend millions of public dollars on increased policing, IP courts, and public education campaigns.

Of particular note, however, is the fact that the IIPA report provides a fairly convincing case that there is considerable flexibility in implementing the WIPO Internet treaty anti-circumvention rules.

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February 17, 2011 8 comments News

NZ Govt Copyright Leak: Doubts Value of WIPO Internet Treaties, Supports Flexible Digital Lock Rules

New Zealand is one of several countries currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a regional trade deal that the U.S. would like to see include a major chapter on intellectual property (Canada has been excluded from the talks).  A new leak [PDF] of the New Zealand government’s position on the IP chapter is revealing on several levels, most notably for its criticism of the WIPO Internet treaties and the attempts to limit existing flexibilities on digital locks.  According to the leaked document:

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December 4, 2010 3 comments News

The Case for Flexibility in Implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be placing the spotlight on the many contributions in From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda.   My substantive contribution focuses on the legal requirements to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties. With the treaties dating back to the 1990s the issue may seem dated, yet it still resonates today. Within a domestic context, the government has identified ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties as one of Bill C-32’s chief goals.  Internationally, the 1990s WIPO debate was re-enacted this year during the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations, with the U.S. again failing to convince its negotiating partners to adopt its implementation approach for anti-circumvention.

My article examines the issue from four perspectives: the plain language of the statutory requirements, the legislative history behind the inclusion of anti-circumvention provisions within the treaty, state practice in implementing those requirements, and scholarly analysis of the treaty obligations.

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October 20, 2010 3 comments Chapters, News

Angus Calls Out Moore on WIPO: Says Fails to Understand Treaty, Makes Mockery of Copyright Balance

NDP MP Charlie Angus has issued a lengthy letter to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement that challenges them on the digital lock provisions in Bill C-32.  In a release on the letter, Angus states "the digital lock provisions will subject Canadians to arbitrary limitations on their legal rights of access. The government is trying to create the impression that this unbalanced approach to digital locks is necessary in order to bring Canada into compliance with WIPO and the Berne Convention. Nothing could be further from the truth."  He adds:

"The government is establishing a two-tiered set of rights. Bill C-32 offers rights that consumers will be restricted from exercising. These provisions make a mockery of the claim that the bill is balanced and pro-consumer. Either the government has a faulty understanding of international treaty obligations or is looking to use these existing treaties as a cover to pursue a specific political agenda. The New Democratic Party will challenge any provisions that would lead to unbalanced and arbitrary copyright legislation."

The letter delves into much greater detail on the digital lock issue, discussing how there is flexibility at international law with Angus emphatically stating "I believe the government will be unable to produce evidence that these onerous digital lock provisions are the result of existing treaty obligations."  As result, Angus makes a formal request that the government seek an opinion from WIPO on the issue of exceptions to digital locks.

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July 6, 2010 27 comments News

WIPO Publishes Study on the Public Domain

WIPO has published a scoping study on the public domain by Belgian law professor Séverine Dusollier.  The study includes discussion of the impact of anti-circumvention rules on access to public domain works.

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June 14, 2010 Comments are Disabled News