February 2009

I’ve discovered podcasts. Yes, I know it’s a little late in the piece, but really, it’s been a pretty recent thing: since I (a) got an iPhone and (b) started walking to work every day. At half an hour each day, I get a lot of listening done and music doesn’t quite do it for me. And lo and behold, there are all these interesting things to listen to online. I want to promote one specific thing, which is actually not a podcast, but a Webinar:

Managing IP magazine’s Asia editor Peter Ollier will be conducting a live online interview with IP Australia director general Philip Noonan on Friday March 6 at 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (3pm for us Brisbanites).

The one-hour interview will cover topics such as the recommendations in Terry Cutler’s venturousaustralia report, innovative step and inventive step in Australia’s patent law, the controversial Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the impact of the credit crunch on patent and trade mark applications in Australia. Registration for this event is free. To register please go to www.managingip.com/webseminars. Listeners will also be able to submit questions during the interview. Click here to go to the registration page.

Hey, how often do you get to hear about IP from the ‘horse’s mouth’, the dude in charge, so to speak? Think up your tricky questions about ACTA and the Innovation Review now! The other thing I wanted to mention was podcasts. There are a lot of cool podcasts out there. Apart from the wonderful material from our ABC, it’s worth highlighting:

  1. The IP Colloquium (run by Doug Lichtman, UCLA);
  2. The Software Freedom Law Center podcasts (all things open source)
  3. The amazing collection of stuff at iTunes U – lots of free lectures on all kinds of interesting things: from Berkeley, Stanford, LSE and other exciting places;
  4. TED.com. Very cool.
  5. Digital Planet at the BBC
  6. Search Engine on CBC (Canadian Radio)
  7. Academic Earth (great lectures on all kinds of topics)

I’m sure there are others. Feel free to add them in the comments. Always looking for good new listening!

IP Australia is reviewing the penalties (criminal offences) and additional damages in trade mark law. Actually, they’ve been reviewing this for a while: we had the ACIP Review, and then an Options Paper (pdf) published by IP Australia back in November; submissions on the Options Paper close this week.

Anyway, I was just reading through the options paper again, and I noticed that IP Australia is proposing to adopt something like the tiered system of liability that we now have in the Copyright Act: or at least, some of it. They are proposing to have indictable offences for intentional trade mark infringement, and summary offences for negligent trade mark infringement. This, of course, is based on the Copyright Act system. And so I thought it was raising the question again: what kind of a silly standard for criminal liability for IP infringement is negligence? (more…)

Hi everyone (or at least, those of you who are still there. probably just an echo, right?). Been a while, hasn’t it?

I’d vowed to resist, so far as possible, the blogging thing on IP. There were good reasons for resisting: I have lots of other work to do; I need to spend time working on publishable material rather than current commentary; after my last post a certain friend and colleague started calling me Kimberlee ‘Sue the User’ Weatherall … (ok that last one was just funny). And, of course, there’s been plenty of people to fill the gap: Warwick Rothnie, Nic Suzor, the wonderful folks at the Australian Trade Marks Law Blog…

But you know, every now and then I get the urge to say something. So I’m not going to apologise for radio silence. But I am going to post. Sometimes. When I think something won’t be covered by anyone else!

Artist Shepard Fairey, who created the “Hope” poster of now President Obama, has filed a pre-emptive law suit against the Associated Press. The suit, which has been filed in United States District Court in New York, seeks a declaratory judgement for Fairey ruling that the poster is protected by fair use and does not infringe AP’s copyright in the photograph. The suit also seeks an injunction preventing AP from asserting its copyright in the photograph against Fairey.

From left to right: the original AP photograph (taken by Mannie Garcia in April 2006) and Shepard Faireys poster

From left to right: the original AP photograph (taken by Mannie Garcia in April 2006) and Shepard Fairey's poster

So, how does Fairey’s claim measure up against the four factors considered in fair use arguments? (more…)