May 03, 2002
Did a talk in London for CDR and a bunch of other orgs, about the EUCD. A certain Mr A Cox who was due to speak before me on the same subject used, practically example for example and recommendation for recommendation, exactly the same ideas as I was going to use, so I had to "innovate" frantically during his talk to come up with something different to say in mine. Given the amount of Intellectual Property law in the talks, this inadvertent idea theft was rather ironic. :) Even more ironic was that a lot of the subject matter was music sharing, and I was given a tape of some Irish folk music by a random van driver in a service station on the way home. I was too drunk to tell the kind guy how funny his action was, it being my birthday and just having given a talk touching on music sharing. Yesterday I went with Gerry and Dave to the Copyright Directorate (a rebel faction within the infamous UK Patent Office) to talk to them about the EUCD (the European DMCA). They'd heard almost all of it before, and it turns out that the UK government was responsible for watering down the EUCD to the point it's at now. Pity they didn't go further. The upshot of the meeting was that there's nothing that the UK, as a abider by the letter and spirit of the law of the EU, can do. If we want rid of the EUCD, we need to fix it at source in Europe. So the upshot is we only got information out of the meeting. The UK and Irish governments have pushed the users' entitlements side of the IP argument against a lot of resistance, but there's no political capital for them to go further, not that they really want to. "Did you vote today?" "No Mum, too busy lobbying the government"