Legal reform to enhance global text and data mining research | Science

“The resistance to TDM exceptions in copyright comes primarily from the multinational publishing industry, which is a strong voice in copyright debates and tends to oppose expansions to copyright exceptions. But the success at adopting exceptions for TDM research in the US and EU already—where publishing lobbies are strongest—shows that policy reform in this area is possible. Publishers need not be unduly disadvantaged by TDM exceptions because publishers can still license access to their databases, which researchers must obtain in the first instance, and can offer products that make TDM and other forms of research more efficient and effective.”

The Human Rights Case for Open Science | Impact of Social Sciences

“You’re writing a grant application, and you want to make a strong case for open science! You’ve seen colleagues use language from human rights treaties to support their arguments for open work in the past: but what does that actually mean? Does international human rights law really say that science should be open? In this article, Laura Carter, PhD candidate in the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and member of the Open Heroines collective, explains that yes, it does, and yes, you can use human rights to argue for open science….”

Publishers, authors and booksellers should not become your librarians – Knowledge Rights 21

“Reading nurtures our right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression, including to receive and impart information, as enshrined in Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)[1]. Germany adheres to the ECHR’s values since it joined the Convention as an original member 71 years ago[2].

However, leaving the right to read and borrow eBooks through libraries to the vagaries and differing priorities of the commercial publishing market makes individual publishing companies, rather than librarians, the real decision makers about what eBook titles libraries may buy and how they may lend them. This provides a poor guarantee of access to the full breadth of culture and scientific knowledge in the 21st century.

The efforts by publishers, booksellers and author associations in Germany to prevent progress towards a legal right for citizens to borrow any eBook title from libraries look to block the proper implementation of EU law as it now stands[3]. Moreover, their campaign against Germany’s proposed eLending legislation, will, if successful, undermine libraries’ independence and their important function in a democratic society and the economy. It is not the place of publishers, authors or booksellers to decide how and if libraries have a role in the digital world….”

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

James Love: The Copyright Ratchet, International Treaties & Fighting for Access

“James ‘Jamie’ Love is Director of Knowledge Ecology International. His training is in economics and finance, and work focuses on the production, management and access to knowledge resources, as well as aspects of competition policy. The current focus is on the financing of research and development, intellectual property rights, prices for and access to new drugs, vaccines and other medical technologies, as well as related topics for other knowledge goods, including data, software, other information protected by copyright or related rights, and proposals to expand the production of knowledge as a public good. James advises UN agencies, national governments, international and regional intergovernmental organisations and public health NGOs, and is the author of a number of articles and monographs on innovation and intellectual property rights.

He talks about access to information being one of the emerging issues of his generation, and how he got wrapped-up in the idea of making access to information more equal and less expensive for everyone. James recalls the failed push for a database Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the EU’s stubbornness by adopting the Database Directive, and how this, and term extensions, are textbook examples of the ‘copyright ratchet.’ He highlights the dangers of things creeping into international trade agreements, which can tie up politicians’ hands to change course. James touches on the WTO debates on vaccines in relation to the pandemic. He shares first-hand insights on the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty on access to published works for blind and visually impaired persons, including the many attempts to push back against it. James warns of the continuous push for a WIPO Broadcasting Treaty, and the pressure exerted by rights holders on policymakers. Finally, he concludes by observing how the lengthy negotiations on a Broadcasting Treaty, now ongoing for 25 years, has worn out the opposition against it, as priorities shift to other things….”

PIJIP and Wikimedia Germany Co-Host RightsCon 2021 Panel – American University Washington College of Law

“PIJIP Director Sean Flynn co-hosted a panel titled Access to Digital Education in the Time of COVID-19: Copyright and Public Health Emergencies as part of RightsCon 2021. He hosted the discussion with Justus Dreyling, the project manager of international regulation with Wikimedia Germany.

The panel focused on the impact of inadequate copyright rules on access to and use of educational materials in digital setting as well as how new legal instruments at the international level could solve these problems and facilitate access to knowledge….”

Civil society statement supporting WTO TRIPS waiver proposal | EIFL

“EIFL and partner consortia in Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Uganda and Zimbabwe joined over 250 organizations, prominent researchers and copyright experts calling for a reduction of copyright barriers to COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment at the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

The statement by global civil society groups and prominent researchers focuses particular attention on the need to include copyright rules within the waiver….”

Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)

“We support the work and interests of millions of researchers, educators, libraries, archives and museums around the world who are contributing to the prevention, containment and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic through promotion of access to knowledge. We applaud the efforts of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to address copyright barriers to an equitable response to COVID-19. Access to copyrighted works, in addition to patents and know-how, is needed to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to develop treatments. COVID-19 has aggravated deep inequalities in access to knowledge. In some countries with flexible copyright systems, residents are able to access and use essential materials in remote educational, learning and research activities, virtually access and use the collections of libraries and other institutions, and contribute to research on treatments using advanced processes such as text and data mining. But these activities are not taking place everywhere because they are not lawful everywhere….”

Access to biodiversity for food production: Reconciling open access digital sequence information with access and benefit sharing: Molecular Plant

“Over the last 40 years or so, a complex web of international legal agreements was developed that regulate the access, transfer, and use of plant genetic resources. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol, and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (Figure 1). In developing these legal regimes, policy makers struggled to balance a number of conflicting demands. These included ensuring that access providers share in the benefits that arise from the use of their genetic resources; that users who value-add to genetic resources can protect their innovations via intellectual property; and, at the same time, that scientists and breeders have ongoing access to genetic resources. While there are problems with the existing regimes, they have reached an uneasy compromise of sorts….”

 

 

EIFL, IFLA issue call on World Trade Organization | EIFL

“EIFL and IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) have called on the Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to extend international trade law measures which reduce burdens on the poorest countries, and allow them to set regulatory frameworks for copyright to enable their libraries to support education, research and cultural participation….

The meeting, that takes place on 10-11 March 2021, will discuss, among other issues, a request by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to extend an exemption for LDCs from implementing the substantive obligations for protection and enforcement of IP rights, including copyright, in the TRIPS Agreement….

For the library community, it [extending the exemption] would have the practical effect of enabling governments freely to craft modern copyright exceptions to maximize possibilities to use copyright-protected content for education, research and innovation, without fear of sanction. For example, it would facilitate classroom use and online education, support world-class research, and enable the use of digital tools, such as text and data mining (TDM) for medical and scientific discovery….”

Europe hints at patent grab from Big Pharma – POLITICO

“Ever so softly, European politicians are beginning to voice a once unthinkable threat by suggesting they could snatch patents from drug companies to make up for massive shortfalls in the supply of coronavirus vaccines.

Big Pharma businesses have for many years regarded EU countries as unquestioningly loyal allies over intellectual property rights in the international trade arena. The EU could always be relied upon to defend U.S., Japanese and European drugmakers from poor nations in Africa and South Asia that have long wanted the recipe of critical medicines to be handed over to generic manufacturers.

But fury over the inability of companies to deliver on contracts amid the COVID-19 pandemic means that now even European politicians, from the Italian parliament to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, are arguing, albeit cautiously, that patents may no longer be as sacrosanct as they once were….”

Opinion | Want Vaccines Fast? Suspend Intellectual Property Rights – The New York Times

“There aren’t enough vaccines to go around in the richest countries on earth, let alone the poorest ones.

That’s why it makes little sense that the United States, Britain and the European Union, among others, are blocking a proposal at the World Trade Organization that would allow them, and the rest of the world, to get more of the vaccines and treatments we all need.

The proposal, put forward by India and South Africa in October, calls on the W.T.O. to exempt member countries from enforcing some patents, trade secrets or pharmaceutical monopolies under the organization’s agreement on trade-related intellectual property rights, known as TRIPs….”

Copyright and protection of scientific results: the experience of Russia, the United States and the countries of the Near East

Abstract. In this article, the authors analyze the legal regulation of the copyright protection of the results of scientific activity in Russia, the United States and the countries of the Near East. Considerable attention is paid to the review of key regulatory acts of the states operating in the designated area, as well as international treaties affecting aspects of the copyright protection of intellectual rights in the field of science. The authors consider the main ways of protecting the scientific results by means of copyright. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the judicial practice of the states, which plays a vital role in defining approaches to the legal regulation of the scientific results. The authors emphasized the similarity and difference between the systems of copyright protection of the results of scientific activity, the role of the judiciary in the functioning of such systems. In the end the conclusion is made about the prospects for harmonization of the approaches to the legal regulation of the results of scientific activity by means of copyright. The article will be relevant to practicing lawyers, researchers, students and everyone who is interested in IP law. 

Native American Treaties Now Online for the First Time | National Archives

“Hundreds of Native American treaties have been scanned and are freely available online, for the first time, through the National Archives Catalog. Also, in partnership with The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC), these treaties and extensive additional historical and contextual information are available through Treaties Explorer  (or DigiTreaties). …”