To suggest that "history is made" at any given time is to make a judgment which is not only pompous in tone but misleading in content. History is made the whole time, because whatever happens - and whatever fails to happen - is, in one sense, history. When we declare something to be "history", we are really saying something about ourselves: that we regard a particular event as being of some special significance.
Right: an information officer stamps outdated collections of IP statutes as 'obsolete' before getting back to her beloved wiki
So it was today that, while most of the world went about its business, a small but distinguished gathering of legal practitioners, academics and information managers gathered in Room 6, an airy meeting room on the top floor of Olswang's Holborn offices and made history. Privileged to be present, they shared a vision of the future: they agreed that the time was ripe for a pilot project to test the feasibility of creating and operating a cooperative wiki that would provide live access to all areas of IP law that affect the United Kingdom. The wiki would run on four levels:
* at its core would be primary and secondary legislative materials - statutes, subordinate legislation, directives, regulations and international treaties;The idea is that this wiki can be kick-started with some seed capital for a feasibility study. If - as seems likely - it works, it will then be adopted by a consortium of private practice law and IP practices who would share out the work of maintaining it and who would fund it out of the savings that would be made in their library and information spend. The content of the wiki would be available to all users at all times.
* these core materials would be accompanied by links and/or references to legal judgments and office decisions relevant to them;
* a third tier would consist of links and/or references to articles, case notes and other published materials with bearing on the first two levels;
* individual comments would also be accommodated, this allowing for the possibility of developing discussion.
The IPKat, through team blogger Jeremy, is already exploring avenues through which the initial outlay in the feasibility study might be secured. In the meantime, if you'd like to be kept informed of further developments, or (better still) if you'd like to cooperate actively when the wiki is set up, email the IPKat here. Your expression of interest at this stage does not commit you to any expenditure of time, money or effort.
Left: sharing the vision
Great moments in history here, here , here, here and here
Room 6 the nightmare here; Room 101 here
Room with a View here