BASCAP goes to Germany; Open Source at QMIPRI

The IPKat's usefully informative friend Birgit Clark has told him this, via the German Ministry of Justice (right) website:

"On 26 September 2007 the German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries instroduced a new initiative and online portal: "BASCAP–". BASCAP stands for "Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy". "Original ist genial" as used in the website's domain name means literally "the original is ingenious".

Here's a quote from the website, which is also (partly) available in English:

"Counterfeiting and piracy are spiraling out of control. The drain on businesses and on the global economy is now significant. It has resulted in the widespread loss of lawful employment and a massive reduction of tax revenues. The creative community is robbed of reward for effort and innovation. The incentive to invest is reduced. Consumers are increasingly being harmed by unsafe counterfeit products. All signals also point to linkages with organized crime.In response to this threat, the International Chamber of Commerce has launched BASCAP - Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy - to connect all business sectors and cut across all national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This global approach is designed to support individual company and organizational efforts and amplify business messages with national governments and intergovernmental organizations." (end quote)

Birgit says it is well worth checking the site out. It has some nice little stories from in-house antipiracy departments and it provides information for manufacturers, end-users and others who are interested in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

More on BASCAP products here
Not to be confused with ASCAP

Busy as ever, the IPKat has so far had no time to report on Monday's QMIPRI seminar, "Innovation in the Balance: Open and Proprietary Systems of Development", where Roger Burt (IBM Europe), Jonathan Sage (IBM Europe) and Nigel Swycher (Olswang) were thrashing out some major legal and policy issues before throwing them open to a high-level discussion among some distinguished and well-informed participants.

Right: the IPKat found this lovely piece of open source symbolism here

Jonathan Sage elegantly described the evolution of software development from its unashamedly proprietary phase in the 1960s, through the Internet Age of the 1990s to the new era of collaborative development of the present millennium which open source epitomises. Roger Burt then examined open source through the distorting lens of the patent system - a system that was designed for a very different commercial and economic model than that of the information age. He observed that the patent system was in melt-down as waves of software-related applications crashed into patent offices that were ill-equipped to examine and process them, adding that it was now a fiction that patents were justified because of the art they disclosed in exchange for a monopoly: they were too numerous and too complex to make for feasible reading and their real role was now as an impediment to the development of new services and products based on a platform of available technologies. Nigel Swycher then examined open source and its symbiosis with proprietary products, examining the manner in which large corporations in the computer sector have been able to hedge their bets, supporting both open access and proprietary initiatives. He also asked whether those present actually believed that the patent incentive actually caused or stimulated innovative activity, or whether it was merely a legal response to it.

If you enjoy open source issues, and particularly if you think it is a subject that needs a bigger European dimension to it, you may be interested in attending the Open Source Summit, which takes place in London on Friday 9 November. Further details are available here

BASCAP goes to Germany; Open Source at QMIPRI BASCAP goes to Germany; Open Source at QMIPRI Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, October 12, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. A guide to the characters and other references in the work of art would be useful! I recognise some, of course (the easy ones, no doubt - the Linux penguin, who doesn't have a name as far as I know; Duke, the Java mascot (what's wrong with the coffee cup device?), Mozilla, Richard Stallman, a gnu, Open Office) - can anyone explain the rest?

  2. Presumably Roger Burt is happy with the progress that the UK-IPO and courts are making on abolishing software patents, and regrets the large part IBM played in extending the scope of software patents in Europe in the 1990s.

  3. In this context, "genial" does not mean "ingenious" but "great, fantastic". The message is supposed to be that the original is better than the copy.

  4. @philip grubb:

    A bit of a case of lost in translation, I suppose.

    I will defend my translation.

    The message "original ist genial", can be translated into German in several ways and is, in my view, a play on words.

    If you look up the meaning of the German word "genial" (for example on, ingenious is one of the translations. Especially in this context, it is my view that "ingenious" is the correct translation, and translations "great, fantastic" even though correct would miss the ambiguity.

    I think the message is a play on words - the orginial is ingenious and the original is great/or even of genius (and thus better than a copy).

    PS: "great" as a translation for "genial" is a very much Southern German and Swiss German ("Ha', das ist ja genial/grossartig").


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