Here are my picks of the intellectual property news that broke in the blogosphere and internet over the past month and most captured my interest. I also give my pick of the upcoming IP events to pencil into your diary for the month ahead.
New Zealand internet blackout in response to guilt upon accusation P2P three strikes plan
In mid February there was plenty of news regarding a growing wave of activism in response to s 92A of New Zealand’s new Copyright Act outlining a three strikes policy to deal with accused copyright infringers. In addition to more traditional forms of public protest, website owners, bloggers and users of other social web media blacked out their webspace (Lessig) (EFF) (Michael Geist) (Public Knowledge). Late February brought news that the law had been delayed (Ars Technica) (Techdirt) (Public Knowledge) (Media Wonk) (TorrentFreak) (ContentAgenda) (Techdirt) (Out-Law) (Managing Intellectual Property).
Battle tactics against P2P copyright infringement often raise questions relating to culture, rights to privacy and access to information. In the case of New Zealand’s P2P battle plan the most contentious issue is the presumption of guilt and internet disconnection without trial. It is not surprising that an attack on such a fundamental human right caused such backlash for the New Zealand government. It will be interesting to see where things go to from here.
Job security and data security
Liam Tung has a great, and timely, post at ZDNet Australia exploring the risk of data theft by employees who are feeling the threat of redundancy. For many, redundancy or the perceived threat of it can be a deeply distressing event. Taking steps to minimise employee distress and protect against potential opportunist or revenge theft of data (or other IP) may save a good deal of trouble in the long run.
Medical conditions named after brands
On 25 February Jeremy Phillips reported on recent reports on new medical conditions named PlayStation palmar hidradenitis and Wiitis/Nintendinitis (IPKat). According to Graham Titley’s comment it is an unfortunately common practise. A curious and unnecessary practise in the health industry and a potential problem for brand-owners, but are brand-owners fighting back?
Event – Conference on patent reforms
Tilburg Law and Economics Center, Netherlands is hosting an international conference on patent reforms, intending to ‘foster an informed discussion on patents, innovation and competition policy between lawyers, economists, academics, practitioners and market participants’. For further information go to Tilburg University.