Friday, August 17, 2007

My Brilliant Career :-P

Pangloss has been a bit lax in not indicating that the programme for GikII 2 is now up. It is very packed and should be very fun.

Similarly the provisional programme for the adjoining SCL/Herbert Smith Law 2.0 workshop is also up.

Both these events are now pretty much full, but if you are so inclined it may be possible to squeeze in.

We now return to our scheduled last 3 days of holiday:-) not Illegal- Official! (but do we care?)

This seems sufficiently remarkable to record without comment:

"A Russian court found the former boss of music download Web site not guilty of breaching copyright on Wednesday in a case considered a crucial test of Russia's commitment to fighting piracy.

The Web site angered Western music companies by undercutting the price of downloads in deals they said breached copyright law.

"The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law," said judge Yekaterina Sharapova.


Kvasov [owner of} always said he was within the law because the site paid part of its income to ROMS, a Russian organisation which collects and distributes fees for copyright holders.

The judge agreed with his defence.

"Everybody who uses soundtracks has to pay a certain amount of their income to the rights holders and this company has done that," she said. "MediaServices has paid a certain amount of money to ROMS."

Any Russian copyright experts out there care to comment?

And how far if at all does this affect the liability of those who download tracks in the UK from's successor site in Russia? Rome II, which was recently finalised, indicates that in a transnational tort, the governing law is "the law of the country in which the damage occurs or is likely to occur , irrespective of the country in which the event giving rise to the damage occurred" (Art 4) .

Unfortunately this relatively clear provision is not the one that applies - instead Art 8 provides that the governing law in the case of non-Community-wide IP rights is instead " the law of the Member State in which the act of infringement is committed". Which is um, as clear as mud. The recitals however confirm that this is intended to mean the traditional IP IPL standard of the lex loci protectionis. "Traditionally in Private international law, disputes concerning national IP rights are governed by the lex loci protectionis. That is the law of the country where protection is sought. Where there is an infringement, this law coincides which the law of the country where the acts of infringement were committed." (stolen from the helpful IP-Kat.) Pangloss is still uncertain what that means that if a work in which UK copyright exists (eg a Kaiser chiefs song) is downloaded from a Russian server to a UK PC. One assumes it means that if the case is raised in UK courts, UK copyright law is applied hence there is still an unauthorised copy made and hence infringement.

So despite this court case, the answer "oh it's OK but it's legal in Russia!" appears to remain somewhere between a red herring and a red rag to a BPI bull :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Survey Time!

My colleague Jordan Hatcher asks me to pass the below on..

"**New survey on open content licences**

==Use of open content licences by cultural heritage organisations==

The Eduserv Foundation is funding a study into the use of Creative
Archive, Creative Commons and similar open content licences by
cultural heritage organisations in the United Kingdom. The study is
being led by legal consultant Jordan Hatcher of The survey is available here:

This survey is open to UK-based cultural heritage organisations such
as museums, libraries, galleries, archives, film and video
organisations, broadcasters, and other organisations that conduct
cultural heritage activities.

The goal of this study is to provide information on the actual use of
Creative Archive, Creative Commons, and similar licences. This
information will be useful to decision makers and interested
professionals in the cultural heritage sector, and for local and
national government and the HE and FE sector. The study will be
conducted from now through to the middle of September and a report
will be made available in October.

If you are a member of a cultural heritage organisation, whether or
not you currently use Creative Commons or Creative Archive licences
(or even know what they are!), your participation is needed to make
this study a success.

Again, the survey is available at:"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

HL Report on Personal Internet Security

Pangloss is on holiday at the Edinburgh festival and will be for a bit to come (feckless academics I hear you murmur) but is breaking radio silence to announce that the above much-awaited report is out.

Analysis to follow but right now you can see what my mate Ian says over on Blogzilla. As Ian notes, the Report's proposals seem to point along the lines that academics including myself have been suggesting for some while eg increased responsibilities to implement and encourage security on the Internet on inter alia banks, software writers and ISPs, with the aim of creating a shared "security commons". Encouraging stuff.