The UK has been surprisingly open to reforming copyright law in a more reasonable direction over the past few years, though (not surprisingly) copyright maximalists have been pushing back on such plans. Paul Keating alerts us to the news that, thankfully, a proposal to establish a special “IP czar” in the UK, whose role would only be to increase IP, has been rejected by the House of Lords:
Conservative Party peer Lord Jenkin of Roding had tabled an amendment to establish a new post of Director General of Intellectual Property Rights. The holder would have responsibility for promoting the creation of new intellectual property; protecting and promoting the interests of UK IP owners; coordinating effective enforcement of UK IP rights; and educating consumers on the nature and value of intellectual property.
Note those four responsibilities. Increase “new” intellectual property (it’s unclear if they mean laws or content itself…), protect IP owners, increase and coordinate enforcement and “educate” consumers. Notice that nowhere in there is any recognition that the supposed purpose of those laws is to benefit the public. It would seem a lot more reasonable that any such role should be about increasing the spread of knowledge, watching out for over-enforcement,protecting the interests of the public and educating IP owners on not abusing the law. But, apparently, that sort of thing is what governments are interested in these days.