Manon Ress's blog

US Copyright Office 17 priorities

Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante has made public the "priorities and special projects" of the US Copyright Office from October 2011 to October 2013. The ambitious work plan sets 17 priorities in the areas of copyright policy and administrative practices, and 10 special projects "to improve the quality and efficiency of the U.S. Copyright Office’s services."

The 16 page document is available here
Comments should be sent to

Here's a quick outline:

3 Studies

France gets an A+ from the US for its anti-consumer intellectual property related policies

Hillary Clinton and Nicolas Sarkozy, March 14, 2011
President Obama and Mark Pekala, June 6, 2009, Paris

France gets an A+ from the US for its anti consumer intellectual property related policies

KEI comments to UK Consultation on limitations and exceptions for persons with print disabilities under discussion at WIPO

The proposal for a WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities moved forward at the last SCCR meeting in June 2011, when a wide collection of high income and Latin American countries endorsed a joint paper that could serve as a basis for a diplomatic conference. The fact that Brazil, the US and the EU were among the countries endorsing the paper was very significant.

Positive agenda on copyright, at the WIPO SCCR

As part of the American University hosted Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the public Interest, I participated in a panel on the positive agenda for intellectual property. These are notes from my talk.

Presentation by Manon Anne Ress, Knowledge Ecology International
August 26, 2011, at American University in Washington, DC

KEI statement in opposition to the OECD draft text on the Principles of Internet Policy Making

On June 29, while the OECD civil society group CSISAC (80+ NGOs) debated the text of a high level statement on the Principles of Internet Policy Making, I sent this missive to the group discussing the text, expressing KEI's opposition to the draft statement.

KEI comments on USTR 2011 Special 301 Review

KEI's comments on the USTR 2011 Special 301 Review are available here.

For further background on the 301 process, see:

The EU proposal for increasing access?

The EU position came out in a proposal for a Joint Recommendation with 9 articles in 11 pages. It is hard to believe but it is worst than the US proposal and it is even worst than nothing. It is an outrageous "roll back" recommendation. It does make clear who's the boss in the commission. The publishers apparently. Their proposal is bold. Here's a quick read:

KEI critical of Canada's Bill C-32 provisions on export of accessible works for persons with disabilities

A new copyright bill in Canada includes extensive provisions about the export of accessible works for persons with a “print disability.” The good news is that they embrace a reasonably good definition of disabilities covered. It goes down hill from there.

A new breed of intellectual property enforcement institution? ACTA Chapter Five

The Chapter FIVE (Institutional Arrangements) of ACTA is short. In less than 4 pages (pp 33-36) the negotiators "hereby establish" and "Oversight Steering Committee" (the OSC). Of course all of this chapter can be revisited later (see footnote 73) but let's examine what is proposed now.

Why would blind people get less than the Olympic Committee? Choosing between Convention, Recommendation and Declaration

When I first heard David Mann representing the World Blind Union at the information session of November 2003 SCCR, call for the "creation of international agreements which would allow the unhindered transfer of accessible material created in one country to blind and partially sighted people in another country", I did not know that this issue had been the subject of a WIPO/UNESCO report in 1983, which had then proposed Model Provisions Concer

Six Myths about the treaty for people with disabilities that should be debunked next week?

Next week (March 8-12) delegates from various developing countries will gather in Washington, DC for a week long "INTERNATIONAL TRAINING FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION ON EMERGING ISSUES IN COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS AND ISSUES PERTAINING TO BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS" co-organised by the US Copyright Office and WIPO. We hope that at least 6 Myths about the treaty for people with disabilities proposed by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay will be clearly debunked once and for all during the training.

Notes and US Statement at WIPO SCCR 19 (December 14-18, 2009)

12:45 pm Geneva, Switzerland.

Today, December 15, 2009 at the 19th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights at WIPO, member states started to consider the proposed treaty to facilitate access to copyright materials for people with reading disabilities. Ecuador, Brazil and Paraguay, the sponsors of the treaty briefly presented their proposal. We then had a break for lunch and attended an informal session. On the table right outside of the main room, I found a joint statement dated of SCCR 17 (November 2008) opposing the treaty.

New Ad Hoc Observers for the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (Dec.14-18, 2009)

There will be new participants at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (Nineteenth Session) Geneva, December 14 to 18, 2009.

Here is the lists of non-governmental organizations, which have requested to be granted observer status in sessions of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), according to SCCR’s Rules of Procedure (see document SCCR/1/2, paragraph 10).

  • African Union of the Blind (AFUB)
  • All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB)
  • Asociación Civil Tiflonexos – Biblioteca Tiflolibros (Tiflolibros),

Dec 4, 2009 reply comments on WIPO treaty for people who are blind or with reading disabilities

Attached are several reply comments to the Copyright Office and the USPTO regarding the WIPO draft proposal to facilitate access to copyrighted works for persons, who are blind or have other reading disabilities, in response to the Federal Register Notice of October 13, 2009.

The deadline for filing was Friday, December 4, 2009. Eventually the Copyright Office will publish all of the reply comments on the Internet, and we will provide a link.

We now have comments received from various parties, including:

Ticketmaster merger threatens consumer interest - Public interest and consumer groups ask DOJ to block merger

Washington, DC. December 1, 2009. Five of the nation’s most prominent public interest groups today called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to block the proposed merger by entertainment giants Ticketmaster and Live Nation. DOJ is currently reviewing the merger and is expected to make a decision in the next month. The organizations include Consumer Action, the National Consumers League (NCL), the American Antitrust Institute, the Consumer Federation of America and Knowledge Ecology International.

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