Friday, 2 January 2009
The IPKat's prophetic properties must be on the wane. In November, following at UK IPO consultation, the IPKat reported that 90% of respondents favoured ending the derogation from the resale right covering dead artists. The IPKat said that he 'has no doubt which way the Government will decide this issue'. It therefore came as a surprise to the IPKat to read of this letter, from John Denham, the Secretary of State for Universities, Innovation and Skills, to EU Commissioner, Charlie McCreey, asking for a two year extension of the derogation.
The fragile state of the UK art market, and the fear that sales will be diverted to New York or Geneva if the derogation is lifted is given as the reason. The letter also argues that if the UK art market declines then living artists will also suffer. However, Mr Denham also states that the UK backs the EU's attempts to get WIPO to consider making the resale right 'compulsory throughout the world'.
The IPKat wonders whether, in current economic conditions, the resale right will be the thing which is decisive as to where a sale takes place. Surely at least as important will be the value (or lack thereof) of the respective countries' currencies. Either way, he reckons that if the resale right really is that significant, the EU are going to have a hard job convincing WIPO members to take on the right. Merpel asks, is this the first IP policy to be directly shaped by the credit crunch?