Monday, June 11, 2012

Review of the IP Week


You may well feel that last week was the shortest week in the world (hope you all had a lovely Jubilee weekend), but the IP world keeps spinning and this is what makes reading this review more than worthwhile.

A week after disclosing the copyright infringement data, Google takes the discussion further, declaring that “We do not want to be building a business based upon piracy”. YouTube recently announced a new music copyright deal for publishers that should shed some light on the rights around music on YouTube.  

Read more on MediaPost about YouTube’s issues that Google thinks they have under control: “We’ve done all we can with copyright infringement”.  Given that Google always appears in our top of advertisers which place ads next to infringing content, we would simply reply “REALLY?”  Well, they’re probably just over the moon after winning the patent and copyright trial with Oracle – ArsTechnica shares a really insightful interview with two Google attorneys.

Moving away from Google, we found a really good overview of the US ‘six-strikes’ anti-piracy scheme and how scary this actually is.

When it comes to liability, we weren’t too surprised that a former BitTorrent administrator from Sweden was sentenced to one year in prison after found guilty of copyright infringement and tax and accounting fraud. Read more about the case here.

If you were thinking that there is still not enough public debate on digital copyright, you would probably be pleased to hear that the European Commission launched an EU-wide public consultation on the issue of online copyright, ahead of possibly introducing new EU-wide rules on the matter.

On another hand, broadband provider O2 joined the UK blockade against the Pirate Bay, the only major ISPs which haven’t cut off access to the pirate site being BT & Talk Talk. However, unlike Sky which showed open support to the initiative, for O2 it was more a matter of complying with High Court’s decision than a voluntary action.  How effective the blockade actually is remains still questionable, taking into account the various IP-address changes made by the Pirate Bay to work around the restrictions.

And what better way to finish this review than with some exciting news for the UK creative economy? The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Imperial College published new estimates of investment in the UK's copyright industries which add an extra £3 billion to national accounts. This reflects the increased importance of intellectual property in today's economy. In a digital world characterised by ease of copying, distributing and making money from the IP of others it becomes vital for rights holders to invest in protecting the IP they own.