Copyright

Copyright

Full Stop Ahead: Public interest in blocking digital content

Posted on Feb 1, 2018

Full Stop Ahead: Public interest in blocking digital content

It makes for the perfect ideological storm when IP law and ICT law meet and the right to freedom of expression stands in the way. Capitalist and socialist, activist and pacifist, pragmatist and idealist: differing legal experts abound in the battle for, or against, IP rights in the digital environment. Two recent developments which illustrate this tension, might serve South Africans well, if observed with care. First, the recent ruling of the General Court of the European Union in Constantin Film Produktion GmbH v EUIPO[i] made it clear that aural vulgarity could be a bar to the registration...

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BEPS and Intangibles: How does it impact IP tax structures?

Posted on Feb 1, 2018

BEPS and Intangibles: How does it impact IP tax structures?

Intangible assets constitute a major value-driver for multi-national enterprises (MNEs). This is even more so for companies that rely on valuable intangibles rather than physical assets to generate financial returns. Intangibles such as patents, design, trademarks (or brands) and copyrights are generally easy to identify, value and transfer and as such attractive for multi-national tax planning structures especially as these rights usually does not have a fixed geographical basis and is highly mobile as a result can be relocated without significant costs. Many MNEs utilize IP structuring...

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Copyright in taste? CJEU to decide.

Posted on Oct 17, 2017

Copyright in taste? CJEU to decide.

“Whether copyright protection protects tastes has been stirring up emotions in European legal circles for some time. Some say that such protection would be contrary to the idea-expression dichotomy, the notion that ideas and principles underlying any element of a work can never be protected. Others argue protecting taste would negatively affect free competition, among other things. Allowing taste copyright would lead to creative stagnation because when chefs invent new dishes and thus tastes, they always build on already existing dishes.” So writes Prof Charles Gielen, Research...

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Good read: a truly South African novel on copyright law

Posted on Oct 17, 2017

Good read: a truly South African novel on copyright law

It is about time! Great news for those in need of new, good fiction in the courtroom drama sub-genre with a truly South African perspective – the new book The Summit Syndrome has just been published by Authorhouse UK. And the best part – it is set as a copyright infringement case authored by the man who knows how to tell this story very well, Professor Owen Dean. Mixing legal suspense with a character-driven plot “in this dramatic story of treachery, betrayal, love, and an obsession to succeed, a lawyer takes on a complex and bizarre copyright case while in a state of...

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ANC Legal Research Group on Copyright Amendment Bill

Posted on Oct 15, 2017

ANC Legal Research Group on Copyright Amendment Bill

The legal research group of the African National Congress held a workshop in Sandton on 14 October 2017 to discuss the Copyright Amendment Bill 2017 with input from a panel of experts and questions from the attendees. The panel included the current Chair of Intellectual Property Law at Stellenbosch University, Prof Sadulla Karjiker, and the founding Chair and current Fellow of IP Law at Stellenbosch University, Prof Owen Dean. A detailed, diverse and open discussion followed the panel presentations on inter alia the application of copyright law in the African context, the protection of...

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IP: Politics and Beyond

Posted on Sep 29, 2017

IP: Politics and Beyond

“Critics of intellectual property law are apt to resort to sweeping generalisations about the unacceptable social costs of intellectual-property protection. First, as is the case with many issues concerning indigenous knowledge, these critics, who seek to undermine the property rights established by intellectual property law, often resort to making rather emotive, and sensational, claims, but find it difficult to substantiate their criticisms with good evidence, other than for anecdotal tales. Second, critics of intellectual property fail to realise, or acknowledge, that intellectual...

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