Piracy and a “rare act of intelligence”
According to Remix Theory Warner Brothers’ China division, in a rare act of intelligence on the part of a major media company, demonstrated significant savvy last year when they began selling cheap, legitimate, high quality DVDs of movies within days of the theatrical release. By pricing the discs at around 12 yuan (approximately US$1.50), Warner is hoping to make cost a non-issue, thus allowing them to compete in one area where they hold the upper hand: Quality. Instead of taking a chance with on a low quality, shaky-camcorder copy of a film, Chinese consumers can get a high quality copy of the movie at a reasonable price….

This is undoubtedly a clever move. SpicyIP discussed this tactic in one of its earlier posts. Software majors may like to learn a lesson or two?

PS: The article actually gives a step by step process to get illegal access to copyrighted material! I think the only reason why the author may not be sued for encouraging copyright infringement is that his article cautions that doing so is illegal! Please note: SpicyIP doesn’t recommend following the steps either!

WIPO and the Development Agenda
The Hindu reports the adoption of the 45-point development agenda (See here) by Member-States of the WIPO General Assembly that met in Geneva from September 27 – October 3:

“The United Nations patent and copyright agency has adopted a 45-point development agenda intended to correct policymaking and activities to account for the gap in knowledge and technology that separates rich countries from poor ones.
Member-states of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) General Assembly, which met in Geneva from September 27 to October 3, agreed to the proposal finalised by the provisional committee in June. This includes significant reforms of the WIPO technical assistance and capacity building programmes; the establishment of a new development-based framework for norm-setting (treaty-making) activities; consideration of access to knowledge and technology issues; enhancing WIPO activities on technology transfer; and introducing a new evaluation and impact assessment framework in WIPO, among other measures. A committee on development and intellectual property is to be established immediately to develop, monitor and implement recommendations.”

The development agenda was proposed by Argentina and Brazil in 2004 (See here). See the latest WIPO document on this here.

As per the IP Watch report on the formal adoption of the Development Agenda:
“The assembly approved the creation of a new Committee on Development and Intellectual Property, which will meet twice in the next year for five days each. The main task will be implementation of 45 consensus proposals for change at WIPO, 19 (which have little financial or human resource cost) of them immediately. (Read the full report here)

Novartis: Still making headlines.
Novartis’ patent fight in India is still making headlines. In a recent article, Chan Park and Achal Prabhala reiterate a point that Shamnad made on SpicyIP quite some time ago (See Here). They say: “To the extent that India is an attractive place for research investment, it has everything to do with our low-cost/high-skill advantage and very little to do with our patent law.”

IP News and Business (John Bringardner) latest article on how Novartis’ strategy in India was fatally flawed, also makes an interesting read.

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