Feeds

IP review visits Silicon Valley shrines

Screw the creatives, show us the money!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.