Friday fantasies

In the dead of night, the IPKat posted this plea for assistance on behalf of the BBC's Kirsteen Knight.  Kirsteen needed data as to how pervasive are the IP renewal, registration and directory scams which the Kat has written about from time to time.  Well, the IPKat just wants to give a big katpat to whole legions of his readers from all round the world have who contacted Kirsteen with their own experiences, with weblinks and comments. Says Kirsteen:
"I never knew before that intellectual property could induce so much passion. Your guys are going to make all the difference to this story " [Merpel says: this is nothing. Just see how readers get worked up about ISP liability, trolls, Katonomics, software protection, polar bear cub names, the unified patent court ...].
Anyway, Kirsteen's 5 Live Investigates programme goes out this Sunday evening at 21.00 Greenwich Mean Time.  She advises, "we will get to this story sometime between 9.30 and 10pm".  For those blog-readers lucky to live near enough to the BBC, here's a link which should let them access again for seven whole days after the broadcast or to download it as a podcast.

Never mind "How to Fix Copyright":
what about "How to Fix Breakfast"?
Seminar news.  A reminder: the 1709 Blog's "Red Bus" copyright seminar this coming Tuesday, 21 February, is already filled to capacity but, by lunchtime on Monday, it will be known how many people on the waiting list can be squeezed in to replace some late cancellations.  There's still some room left for the same blog's "How to Fix Copyright" breakfast seminar on 3 April, at which William Patry will be speaking on the subject of his controversial new book. The book's publishers tell me that copies will be for sale on the day at the thoroughly appealing price of £11 for those lucky enough to be attending.

From the pen of the IPKat's friend Ruth Soetendorp -- no stranger to this weblog -- comes an observation about awareness in the movie industry which she is happy to share with us. Ruth writes:
‘The latest rash of alien invasion flicks heralded a new low in inter-studio competition’, wrote Film Junk, a movie blog and podcast based in Toronto, Canada.  Skyline, a relatively low budget movie, was due to be released in 2010, from the Strause Brothers (Aliens vs Predator: Requiem), while Sony was due to release its own alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles four months later. Sony Pictures Entertainment appeared to have been caught off its guard, and threatened legal action. The filmic special effects, key to the success of alien invasion movies, for both films had been made by Strause Brothers, who own the visual effects house Hydraulx Entertainment. Strause had failed to inform SonyPE that they were working on their own alien invasion movie at the same time as they worked on Sony’s alien invasion commission. SonyPE wondered whether working on the two films in parallel, with access to Sony equipment, helped Strause to deliver Skyline earlier and cheaper? A Film Junk commentator observed: “ It’s understandable. Someone is paying you to learn their business and work on their product. Then you turn around and put out a product to compete with theirs…. around the same time, even worse, BEFORE theirs… think about it. Bad business.” 
By March 2011 the dispute between Strause and SonyPE had been resolved. SonyPE failed in its attempt to make Strause delay release of Skyline until after Battle: Los Angeles opened. Sony dismissed the arbitration it had initiated against Hydraulx after the discovery phase of the arbitration revealed that SPE’s special effects were NOT used in Skyline. 
Lessons learnt? For the Strause Brothers: to appreciate there is intellectual property in special effects, and not to be intimidated by rival big players. For SonyPE: to recognise there's intellectual property in special effects, and to be clearer in their commissioning contracts regarding confidentiality and non-compete clauses".

Around the weblogs.  It's red-letter time for PatLit, as the specialist patent litigation blog finally reaches the tally of 1,000 email subscribers.  The Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice's jiplp blog announces the online publication of its March 2012 issue, with an editorial on self-interest versus altruism in terms of IP legislation. The same journal has some data on the comparative pricing of monthly IP journals.  The 1709 Blog is buzzing as ever, with Ben Challis covering the juicy prospect of copyright infringement litigation between the recording industry and Google: if the action were brought in the US, would there be enough money in the world to pay the sort of damages that might be ordered.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 17, 2012 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I expect there will be another "Red Bus" seminar along soon...


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