Friday fantasies

Once again it's Friday, which is traditionally the day on which the IPKat gently and tactfully reminds his readers of the imperative need to check the Forthcoming Events page in the hope that they might just sign up for somethings.... (sigh).

Don't be one of the unlucky ones locked outside
-- book now to be sure of admission
Obsession.  It goes without saying that there is one forthcoming event about which at least most one of the Kats is obsessing -- the Big Debate as to whether we come to bury copyright or to praise it.  At the time of composing this post the debate, which takes place in Central London on 12 July, already has over 110 people signed up to attend.  These include, from right to left as it were, major owners of copyright and societies that represent the collective interests of copyright owners, publishers and distributors of third party works, small individual creators of copyright works, legal practitioners, civil servants, consumers, students and academics, open sourcerers [Merpel likes this word] and innovators and political reformers. The debate is to be chaired by Mr Justice Arnold and security guards with tranquiliser darts will be there to ensure a stunning event ...  For further details and registration click here.  For an excellent copyright-oriented parody of 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen ..." click here.

Here's something a little frivolous for Friday afternoon. Thanks go to the IPKat's (not so) old friend James Nurton for this link to the (leaked) New Labour presentation on branding, courtesy of the Telegraph, which focuses on the relative positions of two major British parties. This is an
In the middle of his oration, David
Cameron suddenly remembers the
witty comment he read on the IPKat 
"Analysis of the Conservative and Labour brands in 2006 and the “psychology of the next election”, which it correctly assumes will be between David Cameron and Gordon Brown. It explores the early “Love Affair with New Labour”, noting that “Thatcher & Blair both achieved iconic status with the electorate.” Where Thatcher’s status was built on “respect. And fear”, Blair’s was “built on novelty. And love.” Brown is identified as a “performer brand”, like BMW and British Airways, while Cameron is a “challenger brand”, like Mini or Apple.".
All the talk of "performer brands" and "challenger brands" makes the IPKat feel happy that, while politicians sell us their tired old promises, we can sell them our tired old branding concepts ...

Now for something serious.  BAILII is a wonderful web service which provides free and swift access to tens of thousands of legal decisions not just across the British Isles but in many other countries too.  Courts from which fresh, vital data is handsomely furnished for the benefit of readers include the Patents Court and the Patents County Court in England and Wales. Horrifically, writes BAILII trustee Clive Freedman:
BAILII's future is uncertain, because of the lack of secure funding. If BAILII is to survive, it is essential that we find sufficient sets of Chambers, firms of solicitors, associations of lawyers and/or related professionals, publishers and other companies to give informal commitments to make donations to BAILII year on year on an ongoing basis, in order to put BAILII onto a secure financial footing before its existing funds run out. We need much more support, partly in order to replace existing sponsorship which is not being continued, and to make up for the fact that in any event BAILII's expenditure has in recent years been exceeding its income from sponsorship.
Merpel is mortified that so valuable a service -- is is provided at no cost for the benefit of lawyers, clients, judges and Kats -- is in danger of folding [pedantic point: can you fold an online service which provides no paper product?].  Says Merpel, we want to know two things: (i) how much money does BAILII need annually to keep itself going? (ii) how much public money does the Intellectual Property Office spend on feeding Wallace and Gromit?

Further details about BAILII and its appeal are available here and here.

Multi-talented London Mayor
Boris Johnson has taught
himself to read JIPLP by ear ...
Around the blogs. There's a provocative piece on the jiplp weblog, "Premier League v QC Leisure: an opinion about an opinion -- what's your opinion?". Also announced on the jiplp blog, but rather less provocative -- unless you don't have a fancy new-fangled hand-held device -- is the news that the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice is now mobile-enabled (details here), which means that you can now read articles on IP while pedalling your bicycle [NOT recommended while driving an automobile].  IP Draughts contributes to the weekend merriment by bringing this link to Richard Dreyfuss's recitation of the Apple licensing terms [says Merpel, I'd prefer a recitation by Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss -- I'm sure she'd give it more meaning]. PatLit took a break this week from its PCC Pages series in order to give Antonio Selas a chance to seize the limelight -- which he did when writing up the tale of Oracle v Google and a 50% royalty rate.

Do Kats talk about copyright? There's evidence that at least one of them does. "Talking Copyright: What’s All The Fuss?" is the title of a seminar organised by British Black Music in association with the University of Westminster Commercial Music and CultureTalkClub.  Says the seminar blurb:
"With the recent prevalence of online activity having moved the subject of copyright from the lofty confines of academic and legal circles into the mainstream consciousness, this seminar is an opportunity for panellists and participants to voice their opinions. What’s copyright? Why should we care about copyright? Where are consumers’ rights? Would the world be a better place without having all rights reserved? What’s all the fuss about?"
There's a big panel: Kienda Hoji (University of Westminster Commercial Music BA programme director), Saskia Walzel (Consumer Focus policy advocate), Dr Enrico Bonadio (City University London law lecturer), Emmanuel Legrand (World Copyright Summit conference coordinator), Prof Martin Kretschmer (Centre For Intellectual Property Policy & Management director), Danilo Mandic (University of Westminster Law School doctoral researcher), Chris Cooke (CMU co-publisher & business editor) -- and Catherine Lee (Cat the Kat). In the chair is Kwaku (BBM/BMC founder).  The date's Friday 24 June, 6.30-9pm, at the
University of Westminster (The Old Cinema), 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW (Oxford Circus). Like all good seminars, it's free -- but you still have to book ... here.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, June 10, 2011 Rating: 5

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