Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ATRIP Congress Day 2

Today's deliberations started at 7.30 am  with breakfast roundtable panels on consumer law and competition law (see programme here). This Leo attended the consumer law panel where interesting questions were posed about how consumer protection legislation may protect consumers of copyright works. Rebecca Giblin (author of Code Wars: 10 years of P2P software litigation)  spoke on the merits of the Australian Law Review Commission's proposal (17-1) that contracting out of some exceptions and limitations ought to be prohibited.

A lovely day at Pembroke, picture by Rebecca Giblin
The fifth plenary on IP and international law included a presentation on the Principles for IP provisions in bilateral and regional agreements by Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (see post on ipkat). This was followed by commentary by Jeremy de Beer who illustrated the principles' relevance to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and PAIPO (read Jeremy's summary of his remarks here).

The sixth plenary focused on IP and competition, with insightful presentations by Timo Minssen, Matthias Lamping, Kung-Chung Liu and Denis Barbosa on patents, compulsory licensing and sham patent litigation. The seventh plenary on remedies continued the excellent tenor of discussions. Uma Suthersanen,  Orit Fischman Afori, Anna Tischner and Lionel Bentley shared their views on ISP liability and flexible remedies, among other things. The final plenary of the day considered constitutional issues. Christophe Gieger argued for the revision of art 17(2) of the Lisbon Treaty; Gustavo Ghidini proposed a dual test for identifying IP as a lex specialis; Abbe Brown and Charlotte Waelde gave a brilliant piece on disability, copyright and human rights in the context of dance (see here for their research questions) and Enyinna Nwauche closed the session with his views on Kenyan constitutional protection of culture and IP.

To cap it all Lord Justice Mummery addressed the congress at the formal conference dinner, held at Pembroke College Hall. He had us all in stitches as he told glorious tales of the cases he litigated as a barrister and the cases he presided over as a judge. The refrain of his speech, inspired by Joseph Conrad, was that to make good decisions about copyright in the present (either as a court, a legislature, or in constructing scholarly arguments) one needs to think about the effect of that decision on the future and have serious regard for the lessons and experiences of the past.

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