Welcome to this week’s PA’s PA; as Parliament continues its long Easter recess there is little to report on the political scene… but it will all burst into life next week!
The previously reported European Commission’s commissioned De Wolf Report into text and data mining has continued to exercise our minds over the past week. As two Parliamentary Committees (the Joint Committee for Statutory Instruments and the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee) gear up to perform the tasks its says on their tins, we have gently suggested to them that they may want to consider the implications of a Commission report which says that the UK government (or any member state come to that) cannot do what it is proposing. As we have reported, the IP Minister will be in front of them on 6 May and will also – on a date still to be confirmed – be taking part in a debate on the SIs as part of the affirmative resolution procedure.
On Saturday it is World IP Day, and to mark this, plus the fact that we are 12 months away from the General Election, the Alliance for IP has developed the attached manifesto, aimed at having all the main parties agree to support and promote the UK’s world-beating creative industries. This is being formally launched on Monday morning and will be subject of a discussion with MPs in the House of Commons on Monday lunchtime. The Manifesto is calling for the next government – of whichever political persuasion - to provide stability in the IP framework (code for “don’t do another Gowers / Hargreaves) and to create the right incentives for businesses to invest in IP. It also calls upon industry to do its bit in promoting consumer services and education.
Our friends at the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have publicised an early success by forcing the shutdown of The Sports Torrent Network. We are all too law abiding to be familiar with the site I know, but it is apparently a massive sports-focused copyright infringement site. The BBC reported on it as you can read HERE
Value of Libraries
Being into art and sport is good for you – and using libraries is worth £1359 a year to the average individual. We now know this thanks to these two reports from DCMS, produced in conjunction with the LSE, looking into the social and wellbeing impacts of being engaged in culture and sport. Happily they find they are, broadly speaking, a good thing, The first looks at their social impacts HERE and the second looks at their impacts on wellbeing HERE
It is doubtful that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a chance to discuss open access during their successful tour of Australia, but those wishing to know about the view from down under this can read this useful update from the Australian Open Access Group.
Who We’ve Met and Forthcoming Meetings
Telecon with the IPO, a meeting with Professor Martin Hall and colleagues from Jisc. Next week: meeting with MPs John Whittingdale, Pete Wishart, Gerry Sutcliffe, Mike Weatherley, Damian Collins, Lord Clement-Jones, Baroness Bonham-Carter; attending a conference on tackling IP infringement in Vilnius; and further discussions with the IPO.
All the talk at LBF was about mobile reading taking off, and here’s a fascinating report into that subject from The Guardian, and with respect of Africa and India.