Saturday, 4 June 2011

Isle of Man to update IP law

The Isle of Man, which constitutionally is a self-governing Crown dependency and a semi-detached part of the European Union, is going to have updated intellectual property laws soon: at least, the government is consulting on changes. Most of them reflect changes that have been made in the UK to meet the requirements of directives from the European Community - they predate the Lisbon Treaty. Copyright could be extended to 70 years pma, there might be new rules for damages for infringement, and the government is considering reforming design laws and introducing a publication right, a "making available right" protecting the performer of a work which is made available to the public on the internet, and moral rights for performers.

The consultation paper identifies 81 possible changes, of which the government is minded to recommend adopting the majority, is undecided about several, including increasing the basic copyright term (what an unusual degree of honesty and openness in a government!) and has already decided to reject a couple - the introduction of rental and lending right, and artist's resale right.

The consultation is not limited to copyright, perfomers' rights and designs. There are proposals on trade marks (how to protect International Trade Marks (EU)), patents, SPCs, and database right too. The document is 106 pages long, and about 90 of those pages contain a description of what might be done, the pros and cons, how the UK has done it and how the Isle of Man could do it - so it doesn't make for easy reading, but it isn't hard to find what you're looking for, if you see what I mean.

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