1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 26 February 2010

Copyright Tribunal: more lovable from 6 April

A press release from the UK's Intellectual Property Office announces that the resolution of disputes by the little-loved Copyright Tribunal will make it "faster, cheaper and fairer". According to the Office:
"Collecting societies, small businesses and individuals will soon find it simpler, cheaper and quicker to resolve disputes about copyright licensing schemes through the Copyright Tribunal. Simplified and modernised rules of procedure, on which licensing societies, industry and consumer groups were consulted last year, will come into effect from the 6th April 2010.

These changes seek to

* Promote the effective resolution of disputes in a fast-changing business environment by introducing procedures in line with the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.

* Improve access to the Tribunal for small businesses and individuals by introducing a small applications track for quick and economical resolution of small cases.

* Reduce costs and delays in large-scale litigation by providing for active and robust case management. ...

The revised rules will enable the Tribunal to deal with cases justly and fairly but more rapidly. This will be done by ensuring the parties are on equal footing; saving expense; dealing with cases on a proportionate level according to the complexity, amount of money, and financial position of each party; and by dealing with cases quickly, fairly and with the best use of time and resource.

The revisions to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure take into account recommendations made by the then Innovation, Universities and Skills Select Committee in its Report of March 2008, recommendations made by an internal Intellectual Property Office Review of 2007, and comments made by stakeholders in response to these reviews".
Of all these things, I'm most pleased about the promise of 'robust case management' -- particularly if has the effect of reducing the volume of technical analysis relating to royalty calculations, market impacts etc which some of us have been known to pretend to understand before preparing to flip a coin ...

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