Posts Tagged ‘ip’

Why Bother?

July 7th, 2011

Lord Prescott, among others, is leading a charge to this website. They are very excited because they have persuaded 140,000 people to click a button, submitting the following to the Consultation on the proposed acquisition by News Corporation of BSkyB Group PLC.

Dear Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hunt,
The undertakings you are consulting on for the BSkyB takeover by News Corporation are not good enough and the takeover shouldn’t go ahead. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation already owns too much of our media and if this deal goes ahead would aggressively cross-promote its products, damaging rival news groups and restricting what we see and read.

The process for this deal is flawed. It looks at a limited set of issues, ignoring a major concern — that Murdoch  trashes media standards and ignores regulators. Hacking and other scandals show how his media often violates ethics and the law. There are serious gaps in the deal you outlined, including no fixed financial penalties for breaches. News Corporation can’t be trusted to stick to it.

I call on you to refuse to grant News Corporation any further control of British media until the deal has been reviewed by the competition commission and a full judge-led public inquiry into the hacking scandal is completed.



I think even the normal, non-lawyers out there will spot the inconsistencies in this – how can they suggest the process has not complied with English law in the second paragraph (when Mr Hunt has confidently announced he will publish the legal advice stating that it had) and then encourage those laws be ignored on a whim to comply with the request in the last paragraph?  At the slightest appearance of bias, a leading figure in the coalition government was publicly spanked and had the brief withdrawn, which is why this is Mr Hunt’s problem in the first place.  Why should News Corp pay “fixed financial penalties for breaches” when no other media outlet in the UK has such an obligation?  Can those clicking away point to examples of where News Corporation’s output had been found in breach of the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice and failed to comply with findings on that complaint?

Of course I’m not suggesting that members of the public don’t have a right to express their reservations about the deal – it’s very healthy for our democracy that they do.  I also suspect that those closely following the intricacies of the deal could credibly respond to most of the challenges I raise above.  My frustration is with a mob-mentality being given the ability to auto-generate the guff above, to which they have applied absolutely no thought.  I think it lessens the value of having the consultation and will make the government wary of holding such consultations again if they are simply going to be flooded by what is, as far as I can tell, spam.

I refuse to accept Lord Prescott as a leader of those greatly wronged by the tabloid press.  He was the Deputy Prime Minister, caught using the perks of his Office to woo his mistress.  I agree press tactics and maybe even a privacy law should be considered in light of recent allegations, but the test for such measures for me will always mean that such an abuse of power will always get published.

The consultation closes tomorrow – if you have something to contribute, the email is , but at least take the time to write it yourself.

On the most recent news, I see many people are excited that the News of the World will close.  Personally, I think there are British newspapers that emit a far greater level of nonsense and malice than the News of the World has ever published.  It is no surprise that thieving MPs, match-fixing Sportsmen, hypocritical TV journalists, rogue members of the Royal Family, polluting companies and coke-huffing supermodels will delight in the loss of the 186 year-old paper  –  it’s one less watcher holding them to account.

{lang: 'en-GB'}


January 1st, 2011

So, this blog sees in it’s third year, hitting a new level of inactivity.  I’d always wondered why law student blogs seemed to vanish at about the point that the author started the BVC.  Well, having started the BPTC I now have the answer – there comes a point, normally around 2am, that I realise that I’m passed the point of caring about how well I understand the law I’m trying to learn, without going off in search of the more obscure reaches of the field with which I try to fill these pages.  Clearly this is pathetic and so I shall try to be less whiny in 2011.

Lets begin with a fresh Daily Little Law Links..

1.  This great Supreme Court decision at the end of last year is a relief.  Those caught by the old rule were unfortunate enough and often totally ignored by the Government until it realised money was owed.  Its not a blanket rule, but it’s a step in the right direction and well done to the CPAG for bringing the case.  Head over to Nearly Legal for a summary.

2. The Register has a very interesting piece about a new Apple patent relating to product review systems.  The article doesn’t actually use the word bribe, but I bet it crossed their mind.

3. Finally, have a quick glance at The Guardian’s Best Legal Reads of 2010.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

August 20th, 2010

This bunch are not as fresh as my usual posts, but are a range of things over the last few weeks that are worth bringing to your attention.

For me, studying copyright law seemed like quite a treadmil; the more I learned, the more complicated it got.  I’m pleased to know I was not alone in this, because a recent High Court judgement found even the Copyright Tribunal were a bit confused as to what they were supposed to be doing.  The press coverage is here, and the case report here.

Next, the recent edition of New Scientist looks at statistics quoted when considering DNA evidence.

The DNA analyst who testified in Smith’s trial said the chances of the DNA coming from someone other than Jackson were 1 in 95,000. But both the prosecution and the analyst’s supervisor said the odds were more like 1 in 47. A later review of the evidence suggested that the chances of the second person’s DNA coming from someone other than Jackson were closer to 1 in 13, while a different statistical method said the chance of seeing this evidence if the DNA came from Jackson is only twice that of the chance of seeing it if it came from someone else

Take a look at the full article here.

A survey by Sailpoint found that departing employees are now quite likely to pilfer client data, and our US cousins are slightly more inclined to do this than us.  23% of polled UK employees said they would take customer lists with them.    The initial report is here, and there is more discussion at The Register.

On a personal note, I learned today that I do not have the right sort of personality to work for the government.  I think I’m quite proud of that.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

June 30th, 2010

In a disappointing fudge, it looks like 28 days detention without trail is here to stay, at least for another 6 months.

As a law student, I have a pretty high tolerance for reading nonsense, but I confess that I am often guilty of a thoughtless “click here to show you have read and agree to our terms and conditions” when I have (at best) scanned the headings.  Apparently, I am not alone – it seems the Financial Services Authority agrees with my approach.

‘Emails are as private as postcards’ – trite but sound advice.  Or should that be ‘fully search-able postcards that will later be used as evidence against you’?  Surely the thousands of emails that go back and forth everyday within organisations make it impossible to use email as a practical investigative tool, right?  Not if you know what phrases to look for, as the former CEO of Lehman Brothers discovered.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

November 25th, 2009

I’ve already posted about the bank charges story – the rest of the media coverage just seemed to be a rather vague retelling. So, in other news:

  • Much is made of the future of legal advice in supermarkets.  Apparently they are preparing for this by sending staff to the police as civilian detectives.  Surely the admissibility of evidence comes into question at some point??
  • The press, having enjoyed the experience so much with MPs, seem to want to turn the attention to the judiciary. I may explore this in more detail in a later post, but I’ll leave you pondering if it is wise to add another deterrent to skilled barristers moving to the bench.
  • The Metropolitan Police have locked up a mentally ill man for refusing to hand over his encryption keys, as prescribed in the good old Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.  I learned about the story from @AVerySecretBlog on Twitter.
{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

November 20th, 2009
  • The Telegraph has a child custody case on it’s front page today, but the story is worth a read for the insight into Lord Wall’s taste in poetry.
  • The Times explores the idea that the legal profession is quite seriously about to turn on it’s head.
  • The Open Rights Group explores the issue of disconnection for file-sharers here.
{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

November 17th, 2009
  • The deal that will allow Google to reproduce the content of out-of-print books has been discussed in depth by lawyers.  In The Times today, two likely users share their views.
  • Any discussion about international development has its routes in the establishment of the rule of law.  Transparency International have published their Corruption Index 2009, with Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq,  Sudan and Myanmar racing to the bottom of the table.
  • On a more light-hearted note, my favourite blogging barrister Babybarista brings new technology to an old master.
{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

November 9th, 2009
  • There is a discussion progressing that Rupert Merdoch, the media overlord, will begin to charge for all his outlets’ online content.  The new development is a story in the FT today that he has some robust plans to protect this content once access is restricted.  It sounds like a boon for some lawyers, as News Corp. produces a lot of content.
{lang: 'en-GB'}

Daily Little Law Links

November 7th, 2009
  • Yet another BBC programme related story (this is very odd, I hardly ever watch the BBC!) but it seems Panorama will be looking at the use of cautions for violent offences. I will confess that criminal law is not strength of mine, so I was really interested in the article and I’ll be watching the programme.
{lang: 'en-GB'}