New German copyright law
The Bill has now been sent to the Bundesrat for review.
The IPKat is particularly interested by the prospective provision. He acknowledges that it seems that in copyright in particular, the law often can’t keep up with technological developments. However, too heavy-handed an approach to predicting and regulating the future could have an undesirable chilling effect.
A mini-consultation on the UKIPO website draws attention to the Scottish Executive’s draft provisions for a new Bill if it’s successful in its attempts to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Amongst the issues raised is the need to prevent possible ambush marketing, to whit, the Scottish Executive’s document contains the following:
12. The draft Bill will make it a criminal offence to advertise within the vicinity of a Games event during the Games period without authorisation. This will be a summary offence punishable by a fine up to a maximum of £20,000. Following consultation with the Organising Committee, Ministers will designate in secondary legislation the areas and periods during which the restrictions will apply.
To make matters more fun, the Scottish Executive does not have the power to legislate on IP. IP provisions would need to come from Westminster. Consequently, the UKIPO is in discussions with the Scottish Executive as to what extra powers would be needed to prevent ambush marketing, and would welcome comments by email from interested parties by 21 September.
The IPKat says that the proposed provisions are rather harsh. They may be effective in preventing the advertising (although he wonders if £20K will deter larger companies), but the sums involved seem more focused on the harm suffered by authorised advertisers than on the ‘naughtiness’ of ambush marketers’ actions.