The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Friday, 2 November 2007

A tale of two conferences

The IPKat's deeply respected friend and colleague Gillian Davies has just sent him this epistle from the ALAI Congress 2007, Punta del Este,Uruguay:

"The first ALAI Congress ever held in Latin America was inaugurated on Wednesday evening in the same elegant seaside resort that hosted the Uruguay Round of world trade negotiations, which led to the adoption of the TRIPs Agreement in 1994. More than 200 copyright luminaries from 26 countries have gathered here to debate an ambitious academic programme on the theme “The Author’s Place in XX1 Century Copyright: the Challenges of Modernisation”.

In his opening address, ALAI President
Victor Nabhan said the programme aimed to weigh up the position of authors now that more than ten years have passed since the adoption of the TRIPs Agreement and the WIPO Internet Treaties of 1996 -- and to consider whether authors and other right owners have benefited from the modernisation of copyright represented by these treaties. He announced an important new development for ALAI, the decision of its Executive Committee to make Spanish a working language of the organization, in addition to French and English, in recognition of the strength of the organization in Spain and Latin America.

The first session on 1 November was devoted to advances and retreats in copyright law and related rights in Latin America during the last decade and the position of the author vis à vis publishers and producers. Keynote speakers were Delia Lipszyc, Argentina, who gave an overview of new legislation in Latin America during the period and Ricardo Antequera Parilli, Venezuela, who brought the audience up to date on the case law. The second session dealt with the evolution of the TRIPs Agreement and the WIPO Treaties of 1996. Carlos Villalba, Argentina, tackled the topic “Justifying copyright law in the XX1 Century” and Mihály Ficsor, Hungary and formerly of WIPO and a major architect of the WIPO Internet Treaties, spoke on the topic “Changing copyright law in order to ensure that its values remain unchanged”. Remaining sessions of the Congress will continue the evaluation of the implementation of the treaties. Speakers will include Jane Ginsburg, Jukka Liedes, Gunnar Karnell, Daniel Gervais and Paul Torremans.

The next ALAI Congress will be held in London in September 2009 to celebrate the tercentenary of the Statute of Anne".

The IPKat is glad to see that the ALAI Congress is so well supported. Because they are underpinned by national and international registration systems -- which themselves require a large degree of networking by practitioners who must cooperate with one another in securing or defining the scope of rights protection -- registered rights like patents and trade marks are always able to attract large numbers to their conferences and congresses. Copyright, blessed with automatic protection and reciprocity between nations, is less able to muster the masses. He hopes that the 2009 Congress, enriched by the symbolism of the tercentenary of a statutory copyright law, will be even better supported.

Intellectual Property: Fights for the Rights is another one-day conference, organised by CLT Conferences, which will be held in London on Tuesday 11 December. The programme focuses on the nature of IP rights themselves and their relationship to elements as diverse as human rights, online virtual reality, the contractual relationships that may generate them and the principles of economics. IPKat team blogger Jeremy is in the chair. Speakers include
* Phillip Johnson (7 New Square) on how IP rights - and applications for them - fare in the European Court of Human Rights;

* Christopher Stothers (Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy) on the story of no-challenge clauses in IP licences;

* Nigel Parker (Allen & Overy) on the various phases of the joint venture and what they mean for the IP rights born before, during and after them.
Full details of the programme and booking here

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