Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some interesting IP audio files on Cablevision and TRIPS

Doug Lichtman of UCLA Law School has just launched the Intellectual Property Colloquim,

"an online audio program devoted to intellectual property topics. We aspire to be something like an NPR talk show, but focused on copyrights and patents, and aimed primarily at a legal audience. The programs are neither lectures nor debates. They are conversations, ideally thoughtful ones, with guests drawn from academia, the entertainment community, and the various technology industries."

The first programme is a conversation with Fred Von Lohmann of the EFF. Von Lohmann starts with his insights on the recent Cablevision case and their follows a lively, entertaining and informative discussion on same. The case turned on whether Cablevision were infringing copyright by enabling viewers to record TV show's remotely - storing the programme on Cablevision's servers for later viewing. The court at first instance held the company liable for infringing copyright. The 2nd circuit court of appeal overturned that decision essentially saying it was the viewer who recorded the programme not the company which was merely an intermediary. I didn't get the chance to discuss the case here at the time of the decision but it throws up all kinds of interesting issues.

Also worth devoting some time to is Daniel Gervais's Fourth Annual Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property (webcast here). Gervais is one of the world's foremost authorities on the WTO's TRIPS agreement and explains how TRIPS came to be and how a simplistic one-size-fits all approach to intellectual property doesn't work.

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