India rejects intellectual property talks set outside the WTO
India will not accept bilateral attempts to discuss changes to global intellectual property norms, the country’s commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has announced. The statement comes in the context of India’s ongoing objection to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a bilateral treaty with provisions for copyright and patent enforcement which go far beyond norms established by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
EU: Threat of copyright term extension emerges again
A proposal to extend the term of copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years is being revived and may go to the European Council for approval in a matter of weeks, despite the objections of economists and copyright experts.
An overview by Bernt Hugenholtz | ORG’s campaign page: http://bit.ly/etwjkw
US: Lawsuits and legal reform raise hopes of a future for digital privacy
The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) reports on new legislation being proposed in the United States that they assert “moves us one step closer to the enactment of needed baseline privacy protections”. Meanwhile, according to Wired, smartphone application manufacturers could be facing two separate legal cases where they stand accused of illegally handling or sharing private data.
Legal reform | Lawsuits
Germany chooses deletion over blocking to fight online child abuse content
The German government has announced it will drop child-protection legislation that would have forced internet service providers to block websites, in favour of a policy of removing websites showing images of child sex abuse at source. The decision, which was based on evidence of the effectiveness of the delete-at-source approach, will do much to strengthen arguments against similar web-blocking legislation currently being discussed at the European Parliament.
US: Legislators move to overturn regulators on net neutrality
Legislators in the United States House of Representatives have voted to adopt a procedural measure that could allow them to veto new regulations established by the US Federal Communications Commission on net neutrality.
How Sudan used the internet to crush a protest movement
This McClatchy feature details the Sudanese government’s success in repressing popular protest using digital surveillance and intimidation tactics: “In Sudan, the “Arab spring” that’s shaken most other Arab countries feels like a grim wintry chill”.
“Big Content” is strangling American innovation
This op-ed in the Harvard Business Review argues that the US music and film industries “are attempting to protect themselves from change so aggressively that they risk damaging America’s position as a world leader in innovation”.
One man’s cyber-crusade against Russian corruption
The New Yorker profiles Alexey Navalny, “the Russian Julian Assange”, detailing his efforts to expose corporate corruption.
Open source biology deserves a shot
This feature on approaches to data-sharing in the biotech industry profiles Sage Commons, a platform for sharing genomic data.
Audio: Interview with Malte Spitz
This feature on Malte Spitz, the German campaigner and politician who sued his mobile provider Deutsche Telekom to hand over all the information they possessed about him, features an audio interview. “Under the terms of a settlement between Spitz and Telekom, he received a massive file detailing his movements anytime his phone was on, often with precision down to a few hundred meters of his actual location.”