12 December 2007

Messrs. Copyright and Copyright Say "Basta!"

William Patry is Senior Copyright Counsel, Google; he's also author of a seven-volume, 6,000 page treatise on copyright, which suggests he knows a thing or two about the subject. In one of the longest blog posts I've seen in a while (and not exactly light reading, either), he wrote about "the legendary UK intellectual property authority Sir Hugh Laddie" and his inaugural lecture as a Professor at the University College London.

The title of his lecture was "The Insatiable Appetite for Intellectual Property Rights" - interesting in itself. But what is really remarkable is that Patry agrees:

Regrettably, both Sir Hugh and I have been lead in recent years to speak out in protest over the unslakable lust for more and more rights, longer terms of protection, draconian criminal provisions, and civil damages that bear no resemblance to the damages suffered. As Sir Hugh noted in his speech, “A calm look at the way IP rights are obtained and enforced in practice suggests that something is wrong. The drive for more IP rights has produced startling results.” He then gives page after page of examples, drawn from copyright law, trademark law, and patent law

When two of the top copyright experts in the Anglophone world both speak out in no uncertain terms against the current intellectual property maximalism, you know that there's something seriously rotten in the state of Denmark.

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