Posts Tagged "Knowledge"

Happy Birthday in Wonderland

Posted on Jun 24, 2013

Happy Birthday in Wonderland

Warner/Chappel Music, a music publishing company in the United States of America, claims and exerts copyright in the ubiquitous song “Happy Birthday to You”. It requires that royalty payments should be made to it each and every time this song is sung or used in public. This is a startling proposition as most people probably assume that the song is in the public domain and is free for use by all. An American documentary film maker agrees and is objecting to having to pay royalties to include the song in a film. It has consequently commenced legal proceedings before the US court seeking a...

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Letting the Copyright Cat Out Of The Bag

Posted on Apr 22, 2013

Letting the Copyright Cat Out Of The Bag

The almost endless capacity of government to waste valuable resources by embarking on half-baked, and socially costly, ideas never ceases to amaze me.  What makes the situation deeply troubling (and, not just a little, ironic) is that they sometimes spend money employing consultants to tell them that they are wasting money on these enterprises.  If that were the extent of government’s failure in relation to its policy shortcomings, I could, perhaps, shrug my shoulders and attempt to be philosophical about such matters.  However, when government then proceeds to ignore (and, possibly,...

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HOT OFF THE PRESSES – Sui Generis TK Bill Published In The Gazette

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

HOT OFF THE PRESSES – Sui Generis TK Bill Published In The Gazette

Roll up and hear the good news! Today the new sui generis Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill was published in the Government Gazette, signalling a major step toward the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) in South Africa. Full text of the Bill available here.  This Bill is based on the Protection of TK Bill drafted by the incumbent of the Stellenbosch Chair of IP Law (CIP), Prof Owen Dean, and was tabled in Parliament by Dr Wilmot James earlier this year amid widespread and serious criticism of Government’s current attempt at protecting TK through the Intellectual Property Laws...

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GOLDEN OLDIES? – Gallo Music v Sting Music

Posted on May 18, 2012

GOLDEN OLDIES? – Gallo Music v Sting Music

Gallo Music and Sting Music have locked horns in the South Gauteng Division of the High Court over copyright in certain songs named Thula Baba, Unomathemba and Siliwelile.  Gallo claims that it owns the copyright in these songs and that Sting therefore required their authority to include them in the stage musical Umoja and that it is entitled to claim royalties arising out of the inclusion of these songs in the musical.  Sting, on the other hand, claims that the songs are traditional and therefore in the public domain with the result that they are free for use by everyone, including...

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Popularisation of Intellectual Property

Posted on Apr 30, 2012

Popularisation of Intellectual Property

INTRODUCTION Intellectual property is commonly regarded as an esoteric branch of the law.  It is characterised by being complex and until recently it has been a little understood and somewhat discrete area of the law.  Its complexity stems from the fact that it has as its subject matter intangible items such as marks, ideas, concepts, goodwill, cultural expressions and the like.  This must be contrasted with tangible goods like vehicles, ships, equipment, household goods, and immovable items such as portions of land, all of which have a physical existence.  The application of the law to...

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