U.S. Copyright Office Says OK to Cell Phone Unlocking, Game Emulators. The EU rightly recognises that software patents are a broken and incomprehensible obstacle to innovation. In the UK the IPPR produces a report recognising fair use as the underpinning means by which the community communicates and operates.
Covered on BBC and slashdot
The report’s key recommendations include:
● Developing a model of IP policy that places knowledge as a public resource first and private asset second and promotes recognition of the overall coherence of this model. We argue that this should not be perceived as ‘anti-business’; instead it will deliver both cultural and economic
benefits and will underline the economic importance of IP protection as benefiting the rights holder in order to ultimately benefit the public.
● Creating as strong a political voice for public domain as currently exists for other interests. This is not to diminish the claims of these other interests, but to ensure the full picture – in both the short and long term – is taken into account to enable effective policy development. We assert that high quality public domain is both a cultural and an economic good and that the Government should make steps to develop and defend it, through initiating the establishment of a UK Centre for Public Domain.
● Providing better legal protection to ensure that consumers, librarians, archivists and commercial researchers can pursue non-commercial objectives without fear of recrimination.
● Assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual creators to better utilise the IP system, by creating cheaper routes to enforcing IP rights and reforming the process of registering patents on a European level.
● Renewing the Patent Office with a wider mission that encompasses the public interest and takes a lead in promoting and undertaking research to assess the effectiveness of public policy in this area.
Meanwhile Australia is 'compliant', and moves towards a situation where its citizens can be given $1300 on the spot fines for unknowingly breaking a law noone understands for the interacting with the information and technologies which comprise their cultural and business context. How does our government imagine this will encourage innovation and participation in a knowledge economy?
Thanks kattekrab and cafuego for links.