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Intellectual property laws review in the UK

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Dec 2005 14:44 User comments (1)

The British government has launched a review into the intellectual property protection laws. The subject of IP laws has been in the headlines a lot this year as it grows more and more important to the technology industry. In the last UK election, the Labour party made a commitment to "modernize copyright and other forms of IP so that they are appropriate for the digital age." Chancellor Gordon Brown asked former editor of The Financial Times, Andrew Gowers to lead an independent review into IP rights in the UK.
This review will consider how well businesses are able to negotiate the complexity and expense of the copyright and patent system, including copyright and patent-licensing arrangements, litigation and enforcement, according to the U.K. Treasury. It will also look at whether provisions for fair use by citizens are reasonable.

Earlier this year, software patents in Europe were thrown out despite their heavy backing by many software companies. Now European politicians are considering another directive, which would change intellectual property violations from a civil offense to a criminal offense. Legal experts have warned about the problems with the proposed directive, which was adopted by the European Commission in July, saying it could send a company executive to jail if another's copyright was infringed by that company.


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1 user comment

13.12.2005 11:20

They're right, they shouldn't make it a criminal offense, unless they also put in it that it is bumped down to a civil offense if the head of the company, or the people indirectly involved, did not know that the things being used were copyrighted and as soon as they were notified, they either took out the copyrighted things or started paying the copyright holder their due.

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