Tuesday, 13 November 2007

IPI lecture: "Metaphors and moral panic"

Just got back from the latest intellectual property institute (IPI) lecture given by Bill Patry and chaired by Mr Justice Lloyd over at Slaughter and May near the Barbican. Patry is the chief copyright council for Google, and so gave us what pretty much added up to a philosophical argument for fair use, so far so good, but I didn't hear anything about these points -

1) More than half the world's population live in countries where it is almost impossible to find a genuinely un-pirated DVD/CD, how can international copyright enforcement even begin to catch up with this?

2) Technology hasn't stopped moving and the law hasn't even really adjusted to the changes of the last fifteen years - what about the next fifteen?

3) Isn't there a vast disconnect between the law and the way that people actuallly treat copyrighted material?

I'll try to talk about the rest later, but the drinks that I enjoyed with Jack Black, Jeremy Phillips and the delightful Mrs Patry have rather gone to my head, definitely time for bed.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Glad you enjoyed the chat (I did, too) and that another blogger is spreading the word! BUT ... I must take issue with your report on Bill's lecture.

You mention that Bill didn't say anything about the point that "More than half the world's population live in countries where it is almost impossible to find a genuinely un-pirated DVD/CD, how can international copyright enforcement even begin to catch up with this?". This makes it sound like an omission - but it wasn't the subject matter of his talk at all. If he had mentioned the subject, it would have been to say that the vast infringement that takes place in countries where genuine products can scarcely be purchased can be described as (i) theft of property by users or (ii) failure to engage in a meaningful socio-economic relationship on the part of copyright owners - depending on your choice of metaphor.

"Technology hasn't stopped moving and the law hasn't even really adjusted to the changes of the last fifteen years - what about the next fifteen?" likewise wasn't relevant to his topic.

"Isn't there a vast disconnect between the law and the way that people actuallly treat copyrighted material?". I think Bill did actually mention this, but not in the way you might have expected. He explained that the law is premised on metaphors of property and theft, which are not metaphors recognised by the public at large for their unauthorised activities.

FOARP said...

Thanks to Jeremy for the pointers, the FOARP is very happy to welcome the renowned IP guru and author of the utterly excellent - if slightly pricy - "Trade Mark Law: A Practical Anatomy" to his blog.