By Frederick Noronha, Jeremy Malcolm

ISBN-10: 0956611745

ISBN-13: 9780956611741

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FAIRER LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES but because the most efficient algorithms for font rendering are17 (or were until this year)18 patent-encumbered. In fact so many patents for computer software have been granted, particularly in the United States, that developing an application without infringing software patents has become a very hit and miss affair. There are a number of high profile examples where the patenting of a data exchange standard has forced another programming group to introduce an alternative format.

Through both the above mechanisms, the United States imposes “TRIPS-plus” obligations for IP protection and enforcement obligations – that is to say, obligations that exceed the minimum levels of the TRIPS agreement. European Union Domestically, the copyright laws of EU countries are required to comply with a number of directives, such as one (93/98/EEC) mandating a minimum term of protection of 70 years after death of the author, another (2001/29/EC) limiting the permissible exceptions and limitations, and the IPRED directive (2004/48/EC) which sets minimum standards for civil procedures for intellectual property enforcement.

Instead, both set out a set of criteria which any flexibilities introduced at a national level must meet, known as the “three step test”. This test requires that copyright flexibilities must: 1. Be confined to certain special cases. 2. Not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work. 3. Not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder. In the case of the Berne Convention, these conditions only apply to exceptions to the right of reproduction, but under TRIPS they apply equally to the rights holder’s other exclusive rights such as performance and broadcast.

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Access to Knowledge: A Guide for Everyone by Frederick Noronha, Jeremy Malcolm


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