Friday fantasies

AnSome fresh events have been added this week for the delectation of the IPKat's conference- and seminar-going readers. Don't forget to check them out -- and have a lovely weekend!

The recording industry has
moved on since Cliff Richards'
youth, but dogs have remained
much the same ...
In case anyone still thinks he hasn't noticed it yet, the IPKat wants to record that, yes, he is aware of the acceptance in principle by the European Commission of the proposal to extend from fifty to seventy years the period for which sound recordings are copyright-protected.  You can read about it on the BBC here. If the Kat were not speechless, he would remind everyone of the oft-repeated British mantra that copyright reform must be evidence-based if it is to be accepted. Merpel says, don't be so silly -- it's perfectly logical: if the duration of copyright in authors' works had to be extended from death + 50 to death + 70 years in the European Union because authors and their heirs live longer than they used to, it's quite reasonable to suggest that copyright in sound recordings should be extended from 50 to 70 because they last longer than they used to.  There's another point to note: this extension is closely associated with one-time pop star Cliff Richard, whose initials also stand for copy right.  It's understood that the registered designs lobby is now planning to recruit Roger Daltry ...

One audacious plank in the TPP, the
affirmation of monopoly rights in functional
toy shapes, was dropped after Lego said
its next theme park was to be a full-scale
working model of the Pacific Ocean made
out of its own bricks ...

What with the US round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement underway in Chicago, intellectual property and information policy experts from around the world have released their Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.  This challenges the dominant direction of the negotiations on intellectual property in US trade agreements. The Declaration, created through a consultative process with over 180 experts from 35 countries in six continents, criticises an "unprecedented expansion of the concentrated legal authority exercised by intellectual property rights holders" through recent trade agreements, and calls for new efforts to "re-articulate the public interest dimension in intellectual property law and policy", which is quite a grown-up thing to do and requires both more thought and self-restraint than the popular position, which is that you can just help yourself to what you want, especially it's available online.  If you support the Declaration, there's a sign-on here. There's nowhere to sign if you don't disagree or are agnostic.  The Kat thanks his friend Ronan Deazley for the nudge and Aurelia J. Schultz for posting this piece so speedily on the 1709 Blog.

Sadly, the youth of today
just don't dress up for law
conferences like they
used to ....
If you want to get away from all the arguments about copyright term, you take take refuge in the far more glamorous company of the speakers' panel for the Handbags at Dawn: Intellectual Property Law and the Fashion Industry conference, which takes place in little less than a fortnight, on 22 September, in Central London:
An IPKat team blogger will be in the chair,
And lots of contention will be in the air --
Copy this style? If only I dare!
It's worth an attempt if my usage is fair.
Be sued for infringement? You get quite a scare,
And what colour soles for the shoes that I wear?
Of all these key issues you'll soon be aware
If you come to the conference. So, see you there?
This conference is supported by the Art & Artifice weblog, which was launched this year and attracting a bright and faithful following.

Turning stone into gold
was no problem -- except
when it came to repeating
the experiment in court
If you find fashion too pleasurable, hang around for a few weeks and you can sample the harsh realities of "International High-Tech Patent Litigation". If it's not actually coming to a Court near you, you can still sample it on 27 September in the wilds of Central London. The speakers include Mr Justice Arnold and Nokia's Richard Vary; you can find further details here. The venue is the DoubleTree Hilton, Central London.  Merpel adds, the name of this venue has a deep-seated pyschological impact: "DoubleTree" rhymes with "Trouble Free", thus sending out a message that the hotel is in no way connected with Fawlty Towers.


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