Access to Knowledge

Some ideas for the Authors Guild

The Authors Guild is claiming text to speech functions in software programs and e-book readers violate their copyrights, and should be turned off unless they are paid more for the extra functionality. Obviously the geniuses among the Authors Guild are on to something. There are many similar areas of functionality to be exploited by the Authors Guild. Here are some thoughts on how the Guild might squeeze more money from readers, if they want to expand upon their new anti-consumer business strategy:

Growing Opposition to the Authors’ Guild Request to Remove Text-to-Speech on Kindle2

The groups below represent 15 million Americans who cannot read print because of blindness, dyslexia, spinal cord injury and other print disabilities. Reading disabled persons affected by the Authors’ Guild request to remove the text to speech function on Kindle 2 include school children, the elderly, professionals, university students, returning veterans, and yes, your neighbors, family members and friends.

Balanced agenda reached at the conclusion of WIPO patent committee

The Summary by the Chair of the WIPO Standing Committee Committee on the Law of Patents’ (SCP) Thirteenth Session which took place in Geneva from March 23, 2009 to March 27, 2009 has been posted on the WIPO website.

Views of Civil Society on USTR Review of Trade-Related Transparency Policies

As mentioned in an earlier KEI blog, on Thursday, March 19, a group of public interest groups met with the Obama administration’s trade officials. As a result of this meeting, USTR has promised to review its policies on transparency and invited groups to submit concrete proposals for evaluation. Further, these proposals are to be discussed as part of the review process in a follow up meeting next month.

Proposed areas of discussion include:

KEI oral intervention on patents and standards at WIPO SCP

Thank you Mr Chair.

We take note of document 13/2’s assertion that “inherent tensions exist between patents and standards” particularly when the “implementation of a standard calls for the use of technology covered by one or more patents”.

For our detailed written comments on the issue of patents and standards we request the SCP to please consult pages 36 through 39 of Annex III of document SCP/12/3 Rev.2.

On the topic of patents and standards, we propose the following:

Statement by the United States on patents and standards at WIPO patent committee

Patents and Standards

The United States thanks the International Bureau for preparing the background paper on Standards and Patents, and we support the statement made by Germany on behalf of Group B.

Mr. Chairman, the United States supports and strongly encourages the use of open standards, as traditionally defined, that is, those developed through an open, collaborative process, whether or not intellectual property is involved.

WIPO DG Francis Gurry highlights disability as a theme for Conference on Intellectual Property and Global Challenges

As mentioned in James Love’s blog today entitled Notes from Day One of WIPO SCP 13, the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) is examining four key issues at its Thirteenth Session this week including Standards and Patents, Exclusions from Patentable Subject Matter and Exceptions and Limitations to the Rights, The Client-Attorney Privilege and Dissemination of Patent Information.

Who should benefit from a WIPO Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons?

This note discusses the issue of who should benefit from a WIPO treaty for reading disabled persons. Should it only be people who are blind and visually impaired, as some propose, or should it be more inclusive with regard to other disabilities?

European Parliament debate on transparency of ACTA documents

From the European Parliament is a call for more transparency of ACTA documents. This is a report from Sina Amoor Pour of Sweden, posted to the A2K listserve:

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