Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Another copyright in project homes case

Some 5 years after it went hunting, Tamawood[1] has successfully sued Habitare (now with administrators and receivers and managers appointed) for infringing copyright in house plans. Copyright in some plans was infringed (Torrington v Duplex 1 & Duplex B); but not in others (Conondale / Dunkeld v Duplex 2 & Duplex A). One point of interest: Habitare commissioned Tamawood to develop plans for 2 new houses for it. These plans.. Read More

The Canadian copyright ‘pentalogy’

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down 5 decisions on the same day relating to fair dealing and other issues arising from digital transmission of copyright material. In a number of respects, its decisions are directly opposite to conclusions that have been reached by our High Court (one example – but it appeared to turn on different statutory language). In others, such as the ‘digital taxi’ theory, the.. Read More

The Corbys have copyrights

Various members of Schapelle Corby‘s family, like most other people who take photographs, do own copyright in the photographs they have taken and Allen & Unwin, which published 5 of their photographs in The Sins of the Father, has to pay damages for the unauthorised use of those copyrights. Buchanan J awarded: between $500 and $5,000 compensatory damages pursuant to s 115(2) for each photograph; and $45,000 by way of additional damages.. Read More

Looking for a (copyright related) job?

The NSW Department of Education is looking for someone who: will lead negotiations on behalf of the TAFE sector in respect of statutory copyright collecting agencies Copyright Agency and Screenrights and other voluntary agreements as appropriate with other collecting societies. The Manager will also support the National Copyright Director to provide specialist copyright advice to the school and TAFE sector, and implement smart copying initiatives in Schools and TAFEs. If.. Read More

The price of digital downloads in Australia

Big week for parallel imports last week: (1) the US Supreme Court declared US law applies a doctrine of international exhaustion for copyright material (2) Adobe, Apple and Microsoft fronted the Australian Parliament to explain why digital “things” cost so much more in Australia than elsewhere (i.e., the USA). Apple’s defence said, amongst other things, it was the price it had to pay to the owners of Australian copyright –.. Read More

Resale Royalty Right in Australia

The 1709 Blog has a report about the operation of the resale royalty right scheme (here or here) given by the (then) Minister for the Arts to the Senate. Some highlights: since the scheme started in 2011, CAL (the official collecting agency) has paid out just over $805,000 150 “rights holders” (I guess that would be painters or their heirs) have received the top 600 payments which totalled just under $300,000.. Read More

Licensing recorded music

While the European Commission is trying to reduce the number of licensors you have to deal with (and so reduce transaction costs), the Australian legislation as interpreted by the courts is causing them to proliferate: IPKat on Max Planck comments on draft directive on collective rights management Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited v Commercial Radio Australia Limited [2013] FCAFC 11 Yes, I know the EU is grappling with territorial issues.. Read More

Property in the proceeds of infringement

In a decision which no doubt has some further distance to run, Newey J (sitting in the Chancery Division of the High Court in England) has ruled that the owner of copyright does not have a proprietary interest in the proceeds (read profits) made by an infringer of the copyright. Harris et al. are alleged to be the person (or persons) behind the Newzbin file sharing sites which, amongst other.. Read More

Patents, copyright and competition

Judge Posner, one of the authors of the leading modern text on the economics of intellectual property (amongst many other things), has published a controversial blog post questioning whether patents and copyright law, but particularly patents, are granting excessive protection. Judge Posner accepts that patents for pharmaceuticals are the “poster child for patent protection”, but contrasts that to patents for computer software. The IPKat explores some aspects of this part.. Read More

Copyright walkabout

I am present IPSANZ annual copyright update for 2012: in Brisbane at Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s offices on 9 October; and in Melbourne at the RACV Club on 18 October. Details via the links above.