Friday, December 04, 2009

Predictions 2010

The SCl Journal is as usual publishing pithy predictions for next year from the great, good and garrulous in IT Law (though they don't seem to have asked me this year - sob!

The best so far of course is from the wonderful Jeremy Phillips:

From Jeremy Phillips, IP Consultant, Olswang LLP

* 'Three strikes' proposals, even if enacted, will be shown to be feeble, cosmetic inconveniences. What's more, downloaders will assert they have a right to two free infringements.
* The Ministry responsible for IP/IT will change its name, its role and its Minister.
* The aggregated figure for victims of Data Protection Act data leak will exceed the population of the UK.
* The government will proclaim that innovation is ‘key’ to the country's well-being while further restricting its exploitation and taxing it to death.
* Some people will continue to believe in Santa Claus, a flat Earth and the Manchester Manifesto.

I particularly love the second point. One wonders if it's like the professor for DEfense against the dark Arts in each harry Potter novel - each government reshuffle, a new incumbent and name for the department required!

Less funy, but equally to point and often overlooked as we focus on three strikes, data breaches and e-commerce:

"From Jaron Lewis, Partner, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP

2010 will be the year that our pre-internet libel laws are kicked into shape. Legislation is expected to prevent publishers being sued over archived web content. We will also see a consensus forming over the introduction of more streamlined - and cheaper - procedures for resolving libel disputes. Finally, our libel judges will continue to make clear that those providing the web infrastructure - such as ISPs and search engines - should not be liable for defamatory content, even when they are on notice of a complaint."

Having taught Internet libel law, substantive and jurisdictional for almost 20 years now, I really hope we are going to see real change here on the UK's antiquated libel magnet laws - Metropolitan v Google, which Pangloss really should have found time to blog properly, isalso an especially heartening and sensible decision. It is just a shame the current review of the single publication rule (still open till Dec 16th) is not looking at place as well as time.

Finally although not a prediction or even legal I must leave you with my favourite quote of the week for everyone out there who spends their life glued to a keyboard:

from Ben Goldacre on Twitter:"if anyone needs me i'm flying to america tonight so i can kill everyone involved in writing and marketing microsoft word."

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