As an author whose works appeared on the National Emergency Library, Brink Lindsey explains why he’s happy his books are available for all to read.
You can watch the Niskanen Center webinar on drug patents and COVID-19 with Brink Lindsey, Kodiak Hill-Davis, and Daniel Takash here.
News and Commentary
An interview with a protestor at the Minnesota State Capitol done by Unicorn Riot was taken down from Facebook and Twitter due to a copyright claim. The reason? Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” was playing in the background.
Two claims of anticompetitive behavior (patent thicketing and “pay-for-delay”) against the drug manufacturer AbbVie in relation to the drug Humira have been dismissed. While AbbVie is engaged in these two practices, they are not in violation of antitrust law.
At research enterprise, Gerald Barnett examines how changes to the Bayh-Dole Act on the timing of patent filings disproportionately harms smaller businesses. The one-year time constraint puts smaller firms under the gun to file a patent. This can lead to technical issues in the drafting of the application that run up the costs of enforcement. It also creates an incentive to create patents that are only attractive to speculators.
Ken Shalden compares COVID-19 to HIV/AIDS with respect to drug development and access to medicines. While cheap antiretrovirals from India made treatment for HIV/AIDS in the developing world possible, this is because the drugs used were never patented in India. After TRIPS, however, firms can assert patent rights internationally making access to whatever drugs are needed to treat COVID-19 far more expensive and the “loopholes” available in TRIPS are of little help to countries with no capacity to produce these drugs.
The reading or performance of nondramatic literary or musical works is generally allowed under Copyright Law, but only in-person. This Q&A from American Libraries Magazine by Tomas Lipinski goes through the legal issues posed once this work is transmitted online, and the case for COVID-19 creating an expanded view of fair use in this context.
For the third time in the past year, something posted by President Trump on Twitter has been taken down for violating the copyright. The video in question is owned by Jukin Media, a copyright troll-adjacent firm which collects and licenses video clips for use online.
Beyonce and Jay-Z are being sued for copyright infringement by Dr. Lenora Stines for their use of her vocals–in the form of comments she made while the couple was filming a video in Jamacia–in their song “Black Effect.”
Mike Masnick has an excellent writeup of the most recent DMCA hearing, focusing on Don Henley. Henley complained that DMCA is a “myspace law in a TikTok age” in a manner that is reminiscent of John Phillip Sousa’s complaints about listening to a gramophone instead of people singing. “Henley is choosing the Sousa path” writes Masnick, “the successful old musician, complaining about what he’s hearing from the biggest yacht not being to his liking.