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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

UN Report – Copyright policy and the right to science and culture

  1. Science and culture are not only of great importance to the knowledge economy; they are also fundamental to human dignity and autonomy [this is the link to the report, Word doc.]
  2. In that area, two influential paradigms of international law — intellectual property and human rights — have evolved largely separately.
  3. Recent developments, however, have rendered the interface of those two regimes more salient. Since the 1990s, a new wave of international intellectual property treaties has increased the tension between intellectual property and human rights standards. In 2000, the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted a resolution on intellectual property and human rights calling for the primacy of human rights over trade law (resolution 2000/7). Since then, public interest groups and developing countries have gradually aligned in an “access to knowledge” movement seeking to rebalance international intellectual property governance. Asserting that “humanity faces a global crisis in the governance of knowledge, technology and culture,” the 2005 Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) called for renewed attention to alternative policy approaches to promote innovation and creativity without the social costs of privatization. Increasing attention given to the rights of indigenous peoples has also provided impetus to approaching intellectual property policy from a human rights perspective.
  4. Significant uncertainty remains, nonetheless, on how to resolve the potential tensions between intellectual property laws and human rights. The right to science and culture — understood as encompassing the right to take part in cultural life, to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, and the right to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which a person is the author — offers a particularly promising framework for reconciliation.[5] Both intellectual property systems and the right to science and culture obligate governments “to recognize and reward human creativity and innovation and, at the same time, to ensure public access to the fruits of those endeavours. Striking the appropriate balance between these two goals is the central challenge that both regimes share”. Moreover and importantly, both cultural participation and protection of authorship are human rights principles designed to work in tandem.
  5. The Special Rapporteur organized an open consultation on 6 June 2014 to elicit the views of States and other stakeholders on the impact of intellectual property regimes on the enjoyment of the right to science and culture. She also convened experts’ meetings on 10 and 11 June 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, and 28 October 2014 at New York University, United States of America (see annex). Numerous contributions were also received from States and stakeholders and are available online. The Special Rapporteur is grateful to all those who contributed.
  6. The present report is the first of two consecutive studies by the Special Rapporteur on intellectual property policy as it relates to the right to science and culture. This first report focuses on the interface of copyright policy with the protection of authors’ moral and material interests and the public’s right to benefit from scientific and cultural creativity. A second report, to be submitted to the General Assembly in 2015, will examine the connection between the right to science and culture and patent policy.”

The Data Disclosure Decision – Department of Education

CIO.gov: ‘The CIO Council Innovation Committee has released its first Open Data case study, The Data Disclosure Decision, showcasing the Department of Education (Education) Disclosure Review Board. The Department of Education is a national warehouse for open data across a decentralized educational system, managing and exchanging education related data from across the country. Education collectsContinue Reading

Harvard, MIT Sued Over Lack of Captioning for Online Courses

FindLaw Courtside: “The National Association of the Deaf filed two federal class actions complaints today. The suits — against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — allege that the universities discriminate against the deaf because their online content is not captioned, or is poorly or illegibly captioned. This lack of captioning, accordingContinue Reading

Paper – New Ideas in Invention

New Ideas in Invention by Mikko Packalen, Jay Bhattacharya. NBER Working Paper No. 20922. Issued in January 2015. “A key decision in research is whether to try out new ideas or build on more established ideas. In this paper, we evaluate which type of work is more likely to spur further invention. When recent advancesContinue Reading

Vint Cerf Calls for Development of Digital Vellum to Save Knowledge

The Guardian – “Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer filesContinue Reading

FTC Report on Internet of Things

Report Recognizes Rapid Growth of Connected Devices Offers Societal Benefits, But Also Risks That Could Undermine Consumer Confidence In a detailed report on the Internet of Things, released today, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommend a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, asContinue Reading

Understanding the Federal Government’s IT Insecurity Crisis

A February 5, 2015 Report From the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers – “U.S. taxpayers have paid $59 billion for data protection since Fiscal Year 2010, including $10.3 billion in the most recent year under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). This week, the Obama Administration proposed a $14 billion cybersecurity budgetContinue Reading

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

By Kate Cox in the Consumerist – January 22, 2015: “The tendrils of copyright law reach worldwide into almost everything we consume, do, and are in the digital era. The rules and regulations about how the internet works, what privacy rights you have, and how the entire digital economy functions all spring from copyright. It’sContinue Reading

The Economic Value of Law Libraries

A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries Economic Value of Law Libraries Special Committee, January 2015 “This report is the result of the AALL Economic Value of Law Libraries Special Committee’s efforts to provide members with the best methods for reporting the law library’s value to its stakeholders. The Special Committee retained HBRContinue Reading

Libraries After Charlie Hebdo: The Threat of Violence, The Fear of Self-Censorship

Lisa Peet – Library Journal – “Although written texts often evoke strong, sometimes contentious reactions, political cartoons and caricatures can be equally incendiary. According to Barbara Jones, executive director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association. (ALA), “Cartoons are a particular problem in our office—graphic novels and books with cartoonsContinue Reading

Perma.cc Built & Run by Libraries

“Perma.cc is a service, currently in beta, that allows users to create citation links that will never break. When a user creates a Perma.cc link, Perma.cc archives a copy of the referenced content, and generates a link to an unalterable hosted instance of the site. Regardless of what may happen to the original source, if the linkContinue Reading

Google Search – Deep Learning Revives the Neural Net Revolution

Follow up to previous posting – Google – Still in the Search, How Google Search Dealt With Mobile – The Never Ending Search by Steven Levy, see also parts two, three and four of this series: Part 2 – Google’s Secret Study To Find Out Our Needs – To improve search, ask people what theyContinue Reading