Date 05/11 Edition 17/18
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WIPO conference on increasing 'IP respect'

The Respect for IP – Growing from the Tip of Africa Conference took place from 23 – 25 October in Johannesburg.

As well as encouraging policy dialogue and new ideas, the event looked at a number of issues - from how to enhance the public’s limited understanding of IP and its economic value, to the challenges facing different actors involved in IP enforcement.

Qatar joins Marrakesh Treaty

On 24 October, Qatar joined the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

The Treaty, which has been designed to respect the rights of authors and to encourage creativity, will enter into force in Qatar on 24 January 2019. 

The country becomes the 44th member of the Marrakesh Treaty. 

On 26 October, the same Treaty entered into force in Afghanistan.

TPP 11 to enter into force

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP 11) will enter into force on 30 December 2018 after Australia became the 6th country to ratify the deal on 31 October.  

This is a major development as it extends the term of copyright protection to from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author, matching the term of protection in the EU and the US. 

The 11 signatories are Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan. 

US wants trio of trade deals 

The US has announced that it is to negotiate three separate free trade agreements with Japan, the UK and the EU.

The move follows a trilateral deal sealed last month between the US, Mexico and Canada, which had major implications for copyright intensive industries due to term extension in Canada to 75 years and the inclusion of online services’ limited liability clauses in Mexico.

Australia: New online copyright laws target search engines

On 17 October, the Australian government amended its 2015 website blocking legislation that allows rightsholders to obtain Federal Court orders obliging ISPs to take reasonable steps to block access to foreign pirate websites. 

To be eligible for such a judicial order sites must be a) based outside Australia b) have the primary purpose of infringing, or facilitating the infringing, of copyrighted content. 

According to a government statement, The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 "strengthens the existing, successful website-blocking scheme introduced by the government in 2015 by allowing more pirate websites to be targeted and making it harder for pirates to circumvent blocking measures”.

In addition, the amendments will allow rightsholders to apply for injunctions that will not only target infringing ‘online locations’ but also their appearance in search results. Search engines like Google will therefore be required to “take such steps as the Court considers reasonable so as not to provide a search result that refers users to the online location”, while mirror and proxy sites should not appear in search results either.

China: New IP appeals court in Beijing

China is to establish a court that will hear appeals in IP cases. According to a government source, the court in Beijing will “provide an international and easy business environment for Chinese and foreign companies to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights”.

In 2014, China also set up courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to handle its growing number of IP disputes related to piracy.



Brazil:  LyricFind sets up shop in Latin America

Online lyric licensing platform LyricFind is to expand into Brazil. The platform has struck deals with the likes of Brazil’s biggest digital distributor, ONErpm, publishers, as well as UBC, the country’s largest collecting society.

The agreement creates a legally licensed market for Brazilian lyrics, which will see writers and publishers compensated for lyric displays online.

Canada: Dataclef to return ‘superior results’

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) on 22 October launched a new services arm called Dataclef. 

‘For the first time ever, organisations can go to one place for state-of-the-art license administration, worldwide reporting, and intelligent royalty tracking and delivery, improving their efficiency and bottom-line to return superior results,’ said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste.

United States: Consultation on copyright claims in digital age

The U.S. Copyright Office is seeking written comments on how to improve the regulations and practices related to the registration of copyright claims in the digital age. Deadline for comments is 15 January 2019.
ICMP Board in Johannesburg

ICMP holds high-level policy meetings Johannesburg

In a series of meetings last week in Johannesburg, ICMP called on the South African government to resolve issues of concern as the country’s copyright overhaul enters its final stages. ICMP also met with major music market stakeholders in a roundtable event, including artist managers, record labels and digital services such as Deezer.

Find out more in our press release.

Have you ever wondered about the Brussels bubble?

With negotiations on critical legislation including the controversial EU Copyright Directive, free trade agreements and soft laws defining illegal online content, all underway in Brussels, ICMP thinks it’s a good time to host its latest EU Training Day. 

More details and registration here.

Upcoming meetings and events

WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP): Twenty-Second Session 
19-23 November, Geneva

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, Thirty-Seventh Session 
26 - 30 November, Geneva

ICMP EU Training Day
28 November, Brussels

4 – 5 December, Helsinki

Thirty-Eighth Session of the IGC (Traditional Knowledge/Traditional Cultural Expression)
10 - 14 December, Geneva
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

US Trade Representative

European Parliament

European Commission

Council of the European Union

European Union Intellectual Property Office

EU approves Sony takeover of EMI

Under the EU merger regulation, on 26 October the European Commission approved the proposed takeover of EMI Music Publishing by Sony Corporation of America.

The Commission concluded that the deal would not raise sufficient market competition concerns to prevent it.
In May 2018, Mubadala, a United Arab Emirates-based investment firm, had signaled its intention to sell its ownership portion of EMI Music Publishing to Sony Corporation.



Italy: SIAE fined for abusing dominant position

Italy's competition authority AGCM has ordered local collecting society SIAE to deal with monopoly concerns.

AGCM says that SIAE used various tactics to “impair the right” of songwriters to choose alternative societies to represent their rights. It should “immediately end the proven distortion of competition and refrain from behaving in [that way in] the future”. AGCM also handed SIAE a “symbolic” fine of 1000 euros.

SIAE responded by saying it would carefully examine the Competition Authority’s order.

United Kingdom: Government to simplify web blocking?

The UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) says that it wants to simplify the process for blocking copyright infringing websites.

In a statement, the Office said that it was considering “the evidence for and potential impact of administrative site blocking – as opposed to requiring a high court injunction in every case – as well as identifying the mechanisms through which administrative site blocking could be introduced”.

The announcement came as part of a broader statement on the sale of internet TV boxes that offer access to infringing content.

United States: Apply to sit on the MLC Board and Committees

With the passing of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) on 18 September comes a new copyright licensing organisation called the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), which will create and maintain a database of music composition copyrights and their owners.  

The MLC is looking for music publishers to sit on its Boards and Committees. More information courtesy of our US member the NMPA.

Hallyday new album in sales record

In a sales record for France, Johnny Hallyday’s posthumous album Mon pays c'est l'amour (My country is love) has sold 780,177 copies in just one week.

This figure is higher than the US sales for the biggest album of 2018, Drake's Scorpion.

Some 300,000 copies of the album on CD and vinyl were sold in one day alone.

Soundcloud partners with Instagram

On 23 October, SoundCloud announced a deal with Instagram which will see its new Instagram Stories feature integrated into the music platform. This means that Instagram users will be able to share tracks from SoundCloud to their Instagram feed.

Music Sales Group in global deal with SACEM

Collective Management Organisation SACEM has concluded a deal with global independent music publisher The Music Sales Group for the digital licensing of its Anglo-American catalogues. 

Chris Butler, Director & Head of Publishing at The Music Sales Group and ICMP Chair said: “As a multi-territory, multi-genre music publisher, nothing is more strategically important for us than ensuring that we choose the right partner to represent our catalogues in the burgeoning digital environment. The calibre and commitment of SACEM is second to none and we are delighted to have concluded a deal with Jean-Noël, Cécile and the whole team.“
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