Monday Musings

The Kat's wish everyone a very happy start the week and hope, if you are in London, are enjoying the snow!

The gloves are out for Aussie Olympic flag - The iconic Boxing Kangaroo flag (left) attracted controversy at the Winter Olympic Games Village in Vancouver over the weekend. The IOC believed that the flag, being flown by the Australian team in the Olympic Village, violated the IOC's rules on unauthorized commercial symbols being displayed at the Games. The flag is a registered trade mark of the Australian Olympic Committee used to promote sport. However, the Australian team has today won the right to keep its flag flying, after Australia's top Olympic official John Coats persuaded IOC president Jacque Rogge to allow it. For more information see this report in The Australian.

  • European ISPs Attack ACTA - This Kat is a bit late off the mark with this item but three months ago, back in November 2009, the European ISP Association (EuroISPA), the world's largest association of ISPs, issued a statement declaring that the "severe and wide-ranging" measures of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) could, in the words of EuroISPA President Malcom Hutty:
"create a serious danger of undermining and restricting the open innovative space that lies at the very heart of the Internet's success. This agreement would have a negative impact on Internet users without having an appreciable impact on fighting illicit use of copyrighted material."
The statement also suggested that ACTA's possible implementation of frameworks that provide for an ISP's liability in implementing "graduated response" measures against internet users has the potential of disrupting the balance that the E-Commerce Directive has endeavored to strike. EuroISPA also cited its concern for the secrecy of these negotiations stating that such measures are being attempted through a trade agreement which does not allow "various stakeholders, such as European citizens' representatives, to enter the debate." Three months on from EuroISPA's statement, not much progress has been achieved on the issues of transparency and wider stakeholder involvement.

Last week, Stanford McCoy, Assistant US Trade Representative for IP and Innovation, sent a letter to the Financial Times responding to their earlier article entitled "Secret deal aims to scuttle internet pirates" stating that the negotiations were far from secret and that
"governments participating in these negotiations have sought public comments, released a summary of issues under discussion, and enhanced public engagement."
In particular McCoy cited that the summary stated that ACTA is
"not intended to interfere with a signatory's ability to respect its citizens' fundamental rights and civil liberties."
As someone once said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"....For more information please see the AmeriKat's previous articles here and here.

  • Out of le bleu! - Given France's outspoken opposition of the Google Book Settlement, a French-Google partnership would have seemed unlikely (see IPKat post here).However, such a pairing may be blossoming this week with reports of a partnership between Google and Lyon Library. The contract would see Google digitizing the Library's works for free in exchange for a commercial licence to use the digitized documents for the next 25 years. Frederic Mitterand, the French minister of culture, was reported by Le Monde in January as saying that Google had come to France with "the attitude of a conqueror" but hoped that France and Google move toward a more collegiate relationship (image: has Google's power towered over France yet?) Readers may recall that in January, France gave Google an ultimatum to drop their commercial exclusivity clauses contained in their digitization contracts or face the government ejecting them from their project with the National Library of France.

Monday Musings Monday Musings Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Monday, February 08, 2010 Rating: 5

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