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Friday, 27 July 2007

Recent books

Intellectual Property: the Many Faces of the Public Domain is edited by Charlotte Waelde and Hector MacQueen, both of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. It's a lovely little book, well indexed too.

What the IPKat says (confession: this is Jeremy's endorsement, which appears on the Edward Elgar website):

"Of all cultural assets, the public domain is at once the most valuable and the most contentious. It is the source from which authors, inventors, designers and creators derive the building blocks with which they construct their intellectual edifices. Yet the status of so much of its content is ambiguous: each integer within the public domain may be free for all to use; it may be fused with other units to form a piece of intellectual property – or it may even simultaneously be both. The panel of contributors presents the views of creators and of consumers, of believers and of iconoclasts, of those who wish to retain the sanctity of the public domain as an open resource and those who see its justification not in what it contains but in what can be extracted from it for private gain. It is impossible to read this volume without putting one’s cherished notions at risk".
The publishers add:

"As technological progress marches on, so anxiety over the shape of the public domain is likely to continue if not increase. This collection helps to define the boundaries within which the debate over the shape of law and policy should take place".
For the record, the cast of contributors reads like this: Toby Bainton, Ann Bruce, John Cahir, Gillian Davies, Ronan Deazley, Graham Dutfield, Joanna Gibson, F.Willem Grosheide, John Howkins, Manfredi M.A. La Manna, Fiona Macmillan, Helen Wallace and Sue Mayer, Richard Susskind OBE, Antony Taubman and Bill Thompson - plus the editors.

Bibliographic details. xviii + 262pp. Hardback. ISBN 978 1 84542 874 7. Price £ 65, but with an online discount from the publisher which reduces it to £ 58.50. This book is also available as an ebook (ISBN 978 1 84720 558 2). Rupture factor: slim.



The second edition of European Data Protection Law: Corporate Compliance and Regulation, by Hunton & Williams partner Christopher Kuner, is in fact a rebranded work: its earlier emanation was European Data Privacy Law and Online Business, which dates from 2003. The publisher however is constant through the ages - Oxford University Press.

What the publisher says:

"Fully updated new edition covers the many legal developments in the area, including the first ECJ interpretations of the EU Data Protection Directive

Focus on data protection compliance for companies, with practical new sections on outsourcing of data processing, records management, processing of employee data, and security breaches

Extensive appendices include texts of relevant directives, model contracts, and charts with Member State implementations, making this a single comprehensive reference source for EU data protection law affecting companies

Comparative approach taken, with a section on the interaction of EU data protection law with national laws

The new edition of this acclaimed book gives a fully updated overview of European data protection law affecting companies, incorporating the important legal developments which have taken place since the last edition was published. These include the first three cases of the European Court of Justice interpreting the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46), the Commission's first report on the implementation of the Directive, the Data Retention Directive, new developments in international data transfers, conflicts between security requirements and data protection, and the implementation of the Electronic Communications and Privacy Directive 2002/58 in the Member States. It also covers the recent European Court of Justice decision on the controversial export of airline passenger data to the US, and expands its European overview to include the new and acceding Member States.

The book contains comprehensive coverage of data protection law, while at the same time providing pragmatic guidance on the typical compliance issues that companies face. As globalization of the world economy continues, an increasing number of business issues with data protection implications have come to the foreground, for example, outsourcing, whistleblower hotlines and records management, all of which are covered in the book. The appendices have been expanded to include most sources which a company will need, such as the texts of relevant directives, the safe harbor principles and FAQs, and charts of implementation in the Member States of specific provisions of interest to business. Thus, the book is a single reference source for companies faced with data protection issues".
What the IPKat says: As a dyed-in-the wool European, I appreciate the clarity with which the US Safe Harbor provisions and the practical effects of their interrelationship with the law in Europe are explained. And, by the way, the text isn't as daunting as the size of the book suggests - there's about 200 pages worth of Appendices, including the Standard Contract Clauses and a good deal of detail about national requirements that can easily be overlooked.

Bibliographic details: price: £125 (hardback). ISBN-13: 978-0-19-928385-9. xxxvii + 552 pages. Online details here. Rupture factor: higher than average.

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