Friday fortissimo

The IPKat thanks Simon Haslam (Abel & Imray) and Jim Davies (Bell Dening) for simultaneously sending him this link to the BBC's news that members of the former pop group Busted are fighting over royalties, two original members of the boy band saying that they are owed an estimated £10m in unpaid royalties. Ki McPhail and Owen Doyle maintain that they were the co-authors, with James Bourne and Matt Willis, of songs in which they were forced to sign away their rights after "threats" and "undue pressure". The songs include Year 3000 and What I Go To School For. The pair assert that, when they were forced out of the group, they were not told that record label Universal liked the songs and had offered Busted a lucrative record deal when they signed the agreement. The action, before Mr Justice Morgan, is scheduled to last for 15 days.

The very same Jim Davies has also tipped the IPKat off about Wikileaks, a whistle-blowing website, which is reportedly receiving support from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the basis that a court order that knocked Wikileaks offline in the US raised "serious First Amendment [i.e. freedom of speech] concerns". The original order, made in favour of wealth managers Julius Baer by US district judge Jeffrey White, ordered Dynadot - the company that hosts the Wikileaks website in America - to remove all mentions of the site from its address books. The bank took the action in mid-February because, it is understood, the documents hosted could have had an impact on a separate case being heard in Switzerland. Said Julius Baer, this case has nothing to do with free speech: ""This action has been brought solely to prevent the unlawful dissemination of stolen bank records and personal account information of its customers. Many of those documents have also been altered and forged".

Meanwhile, the very same Simon Haslam has also sent news of a battle, reported on the BBC, between Japanese video game giant Capcom and film-maker MKR Group, which contends that Capcom's Dead Rising game infringes the copyright of George A Romero's 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, to which it holds the rights. Both Romero's film and the game involve battles with zombies inside a sprawling shopping mall. The IPKat is amused at this ongoing dispute, given the propensity of European copyright to resurrect itself. Merpel adds, one good way of raising the dead is to get yourself a jolly good alarm clock ...

From the Independent, via Peter Groves (Bircham Dyson Bell) comes news that the Scots are seeking protection for the traditional kilt. According to this item,

"Just as Parmesan if it is made in certain regions of Italy and sparkling wine can only be called champagne if it is made in the area of the same name in France, the traditional kilt is at the centre of a campaign which, if won, would mean that only those made in Scotland could call themselves Scottish kilts.

The campaign is the idea of an Edinburgh-based kilt-maker, Howie Nicholsby, who, exasperated by the influx of cheap, foreign imports calling themselves Scottish kilts, got in touch with the Scottish Member of European Parliament Alyn Smith to see if they could persuade the European Commission to give the Scottish kilt protected designation of origin (PDO) status.

If their attempt is successful it would mean that only kilts that were hand sewn, made in Scotland and made from pure wool could be known as a Scottish kilt. Those that did not meet the three criteria would simply have to be known as kilts".
The IPKat marvels at how pervasive the notion of PGI/PDO status has come: once upon a time it was only seen as a means of protecting the appellations of some wines, drinks and other foodstuffs. Merpel adds, I've never eaten a kilt, but doubt they are very tasty.
Friday fortissimo Friday fortissimo Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 29, 2008 Rating: 5

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