Tuesday, 14 July 2009

"Wherefore art thou Roneo?"

As a reader of, and subscriber to, countless intellectual property publications I was not surprised that I couldn't remember the title Copyright and License. It sounded more or less like the other largely descriptive or generic titles that haunt the field of IP publishing. Anyway, I opened the email with that subject heading and was comforted to read that
"You received this e-mail because you subscribed to this Newsletter. If you don’t see the images in this e-mail newsletter, or if you prefer to read the online version, click here to link to the online archives.

To ensure successful delivery of your newsletters, add us to your Safe Senders list".
At this point my curiosity was engaged. While many people rage about the iniquities of intellectual property, none has so far interrupted the inward flow of IP-related newsletters that has been a major feature of my existence over the past six years. I read on:
"Important Note to Our Newsletter Subscribers: WE strongly urge you to add us to your Safe Senders list. Even if you have consistently received newsletters in the past, you should take this quick and easy step to ensure receipt going forward.

Many e-mail service providers -- in particular Google Gmail and Yahoo -- are blocking mass mailings to their users, even e-mails users have requested. Policies and practices change from day to day; the only way to ensure that you receive all requested newsletters now is to add us to your Safe Senders list. Regardless of your service provider, please take a moment to do this today".
Now I was getting really interested. While Google in particular has come under fire from the copyright lobby for its Book Search project, for the unauthorised links generating thumbnail images and for providing direct hyperlink access via its search engines to news and other textual materials, never did it occur to me that ISPs might retaliate against the copyright lobby by blocking the distribution of newsletters on copyright and licensing. But I know people who work there ... surely such reasonable souls wouldn't do something like that!

So I clicked the link (not reproduced here) and sat back in expectation of reading some totally controversial material on copyright and licensing, hot enough to block. Can you imagine my disappointment when the link resolved to Canadian Pharmacy, #1 Online Drugstore, offering Free Sample Viagra and similar products. The irony is that Copyright and Licensing and Viagra do indeed both address the same subject matter: reproduction.

No comments: