Feeds

IP review visits Silicon Valley shrines

Screw the creatives, show us the money!

High performance access to file storage

Two years ago Google embarked on a campaign to import US-style "fair use" into British copyright law. Three months ago the new Coalition obliged, by commissioning an independent review to examine growth and intellectual property, specifically tacking onto the group's To Do list.

This may strike you as odd, since the UK copyright sector – the flotilla of (invariably) small businesses in design, fashion, music, advertising, TV and games – outperforms almost every other in the world, and compares very favourably with the US. The UK also does not have the litigious culture found in the Nation of One Million Lawyers, which is also a help.

Industry representatives were dismayed when the two copyright "experts" appointed to advise Hargreaves were hostile to the sector. One of those last week compared copyright to "a sickness". Now those critics muttering about bias have all the ammunition they could wish for, in Hargreaves' latest update: a visit to the shrines of Silicon Valley.

Hargreaves reports:

'It’s the expansion joint in the American system', one Palo Alto lawyer told me. Google’s search technology is based upon a form of mass copying on the internet. Facebook’s user-generated content risks routine violation of copyright if the home video posted on a family site includes a copyright[ed] song.

In so far as these boundaries are unclear in American law, they get resolved through the courts and business moves on. 'The system gives us the confidence to invest and grow,' said the lawyer.

In Palo Alto, the IP lawyers almost outnumber the software engineers.

Strangely, both Google and Facebook operate within the confines of UK law – and with a lower overhead, as Hargreaves admits.

So much for innovation, then.

Even if the review recommends no changes to UK "fair dealing" exemptions, the idea that the system is irretrievably broken, and needs a Google-flavoured fix, will have inched forward.

Chancellor George Osborne recently teamed up with Google chairman Eric Schmidt to write a joint editorial in the Daily Telegraph, prompting Indie founder Stephen Glover to say: "I can't imagine a member of the Government doing a piece with Rupert Murdoch." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.