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We’re Not Gonna Take [copyright infringement] Anymore

Anyone watching television over the Summer will have seen advertisements for the United Australia Party, led by Clive Palmer. In one version, a song is played with the lyrics ‘Australia ain't gonna cop it, no Australia's not gonna cop it, Aussies not gonna cop it any more.

Online copyright infringement has been a problem for content owners since the inception of the internet. The unauthorised downloading (and uploading) of copyright material is especially prevalent in Australia, where a 2015 survey estimated that Australians download movies, songs and television programs in the hundreds of millions each year. While content owners have been criticised by some for not making content available in Australia (or making it available at a comparatively inflated price), the unauthorised downloading of copyright material is a clear infringement of content owners’ rights.  

We all know someone who is addicted to Crossfit. Not surprisingly, with its rise in popularity those behind Crossfit have taken steps to protect the brand. This includes the registration of ‘CROSSFIT’ as a trade mark all over the world. In Australia, the word ‘CROSSFIT’ has three separate registrations in a number of different classes.

Greg Malakou, Holman Webb CEO, speaks to Business First magazine about how innovation not only gives Holman Webb a competitive advantage in the market but is also fundamental to the firm’s growth strategy.

D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc. [2015] HCA 35 7 October 2015

The recent High Court Case of D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc. & Anor [2015] HCA 35 highlights the debate over balancing:

1. the rights of inventors and creators to commercialise and profit from their inventions;  and

2. the interests and needs of the wider society to be able to access biological developments for research and the improvement of public health and welfare.

Those seeking the protection of intellectual property rights argue that the protection of exclusive rights to the intellectual property enables investment which is necessary for the expensive process of taking research to clinical trials, commercialisation and the market.

Those seeking the protection of human rights argue that the granting of monopoly rights restricts further research and also grants access only to those who can afford to pay, to the detriment, for example of poorer nations.

On the 6th July 2015, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released an Information Paper in relation to Outsourcing. It noted that in recent years there has been a significant change in the way that technology is being employed with shared computing services (SCS) being increasingly utilised by a range of business entities.

Another reminder has been sent by the Courts confirming that publication of photos on Twitter on or other web pages does not entitle the world at large to use or republish those photos.

Nothing about the internet changes the fact that the owner of the copyright in a book, movie or music is the only party that has the right to exploit that material. They can offer an end user a license to access the material for a fee, they can give an end user the right to download and play a movie for their personal use, or they can license a movie chain to play that movie in the cinema. Those rights belong to the owner of the copyright and no-one else has the right to use or access the material unless they have the permission (and paid the fee if required) of the rights holder.

The Supreme Court of Queensland has recently been asked to consider whether or not an exchange of emails between a potential purchaser and the agent of a vendor was sufficient to create a legally binding contract. The first question answered by the Court was whether or not the facts of the case supported the finding that a contract existed, and second whether or not that contract could be created on the mere sending of emails. In this case, there was no formal contract for the sale of land.

3D printing has been around in one form or another since 1984, when a process was introduced to transfer digital data into tangible objects. While initially utilised in experimental, technical and scientific endeavours, the technology has advanced to a point where “home printing” and desktop scale printers have been introduced to the market. The technology is now readily available to the consumer.

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