By Hugh Stephens — 14.01.19
It’s that time of year when we cast an eye back over the past year (probably in a vain attempt to try to predict what the New Year will bring), reflecting on important developments in global affairs–including those affecting international copyright. Last year I wrote a similar blog and it is always instructive to look back at what seemed important a year ago, and then see how things actually developed.
A year ago I was talking about how Theresa May had triggered the Brexit exit clause, Article 50, and how the NAFTA re-negotiations were just getting underway. I also noted that 2017 was the year that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had been re-invented as the TPP-11 (i.e. the twelve TPP countries minus the United States, which withdrew when Donald Trump took office). While all these agreements had implications going well beyond copyright issues, copyright was nevertheless very much part of the mix. There were a number of other issues that I flagged as well, such as the legal
Well, first to Brexit. At the time of writing the outcome is changing almost daily, with the only consistent theme being that the process is an absolute shambles. It cannot even be excluded that there will be a second referendum and that Brexit won’t happen, which would certainly be a boon for the British economy and simplify things all
As for NAFTA, or the USMCA as it has been
With regard to the TPP, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), it was concluded early in 2018, signed in March, ratified by six of the eleven partners by the end of October (Japan, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Canada) and will come into effect in those countries on December 30, 2018. (Vietnam, which ratified in November, will accede to the Agreement two weeks later, in mid-January 2019). The suspended IP provisions, one of which was a commitment to a term of copyright protection of
In Canada, the Copyright Act review process is well underway, with the Parliamentary Committee conducting the review
Things have moved ahead with regard to copyright review in both Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, the government has moved cautiously with respect to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report, some of which in the area of copyright
Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand, the government has just released an Issues Paper to set out its priorities for updating of copyright legislation and a public consultation period is now underway. Judging by the focus of the issues paper, the economic impact of any changes to copyright law will loom large in shaping policy recommendations.
Meanwhile in Europe, apart from Brexit, there has been
Another area of
Both Articles 11 and 13 continue to work their way through the EU system and will no doubt be subject to further changes before being finally set in
Finally last year I closed with the “monkey selfie” case, the story that keeps on giving. In 2017 the two parties to the dispute, British photographer David Slater and animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) reached an out of court settlement whereby Slater agreed to donate 25% of the proceeds of sales of his image of the macaque named Naruto to charities dedicated to protecting the species. PETA had lodged a lawsuit claiming that Naruto was the owner of the copyright in the photo as it was a selfie, taken by the simian. PETA lost the case and then appealed, but with the
And so closes this summary of copyright developments in 2018. There were many other significant developments but I hope you found the ones I have highlighted to be a useful recap. I will join you again, gentle reader, in 2019.
This post first appeared on Hugh Stephens blog: Looking Back at International Copyright Developments in 2018
© Hugh Stephens 2018. All Rights Reserved.