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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Thursday, 16 June 2005


The IPKat has finally taken proud possession of two handsomely bound volumes of the 15th edition of Copinger and Skone James on Copyright, allegedly published by Sweet & Maxwell at the end of 2004 but bearing a 2005 imprint.

According to the publisher's website, this book
"... provides the most rigorous analysis available of legislation and case law on copyright and related rights. Covering copyright, moral rights, rights in performances and rights in unregistered design and provides the last word on all these areas of law".
The IPKat doubts that the bit about it being the last word is true, partly because we keep having more cases to digest and partly because no-one else would dare to take the last word for as long as Lord Justice Jacob is its distinguished custodian in the Court of Appeal.

The editorial triumvirate has done a great job. Curiously, for a team editing a major copyright work, two of the three have been more than a little touched by patents: Kevin Garnett QC has now gone to the European Patent Office in Munich while Gillian Davies has not so long returned from that very institution. Only Gwilym Harbottle appears to have resisted the lure of the patent monopoly, basing himself in the tranquil surroundings of Lincoln's Inn.

This book is vast. Volume I, which has the real legal bits and an excellent sector-by-sector round-up of the main copyright-dependent industries, contains over 200 pages of prelims plus 1,850 pages of the real thing. Volume II, charmingly labelled "Materials", extends to a mere 1,181 pages. For a subject that its critics claim to be either dead or irrelevant, copyright certainly commands a good deal of page space for its ever-expanding obituary.

There's a bright new section on design protection and a slightly surprisingly one on goodwill and passing-off -- subjects that have been gracefully lifted from the discipline of trade mark law and given a copyright spin of their own. The IPKat particularly likes the section on relief and remedies, which deals with pan-IP principles as well as copyright's well-known peculiarities. What the IPKat isn't too sure of, though, is how this work covers the important topic of DRM, which has so far left little trace in terms of case law but which hovers over copyright like Banquo's ghost at Macbeth's feast. There isn't a special section on it, although it's odds-on that the new section dedicated to DRM in the 16th edition will be one of its strongest selling points.

More on Walter Copinger here

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