Ballagh berates the tardy State

Deirdre Kilroy (LK Shields, Dublin) has told the IPKat about some juicy Irish litigation over the EU resale royalty right. Directive 2001/84, which requires EU Member States to legislate for artists to be able to receive a share of the resale of their art works. should have been implemented on 1 January 2006. The Irish - who in former times were said to have no word for "mañana" because that concept conveyed too great a degree of urgency - have still not implemented the Directive. Now artist Robert ("Riverdance") Ballagh has commenced legal proceedings against the State for its failure to implement the Directive on time, maintaining that he is facing financial loss. Counsel for Mr Ballagh says his client has a painting currently up for sale with a guide price of between €20,000 and €30,000, for which no droit de suite can yet be levied.

Below: Robert Ballagh's "Homage to Inges". An art critic writes, er .. it seems he's better at bosoms than he is at faces.

The action has been adjourned, but the IPKat hopes to bring you further news when it breaks. It is now accepted that any State's failure to implement a Directive may lead it to face an action for damages, but it seems a tragic waste of effort and resources to have to start suing governments when the law of droit de suite - whether it is a good thing or not - should take up very little legislative time and space, and when EU Member States weren't exactly caught off-guard by it, having five years to get their Act together.

Merpel adds, if you can organise five entries for the Eurovision Song Contest in the time you can't organise one small Bill, this speaks volumes for the superiority of private enterprise over public endeavour.

The IPKat and Merpel agree on something else: the IP Enforcement Directive provides for collective actions on behalf of aggrieved rights owners in infringement proceedings. They hope that forcing governments to implement IP legislation is also something that can be shouldered by collective actions rather than leaving it to the initiative - and the expense - of an individual litigant such as Mr Ballagh.

More on Robert Ballagh here
Find impoverished artists here

Ambiguous to read

The IPKat mentioned the other day how company name Helphire could be read either as help-hire (which is what it intended) or as hel-phire (which is how the Kat instantly visualised it); he asked readers if they know of any further examples of this phenomenon.

Well, first he'd like to thank all of his readers who sent in the URL of Powergen's Italian subsidiary, He had no idea that quite so many people visited the blog ... Sadly, he has learned that the site is a spoof (this has the regrettable consequence that he must now re-write one small chunk of his lecture notes). Still, he thanks Jonathan Moore for two further URLs, and A slightly longer list of domain names that don't work has been provided by Philip Cooper (Crossguard). Many thanks to you both.

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