Gowers Review

Glyn Wintle glynwintle at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 29 15:50:27 UTC 2006

Open source, copyright, DRM, software patents,
patent trolls, Creative Commons, the
seminar on the Gowers Review
sure hit a lot subjects that the readers of fsf are
intrested in.

The Open Rights Group attended the seminar and took
detailed notes. If you'd like to take part in the
Gowers Review of intellectual property in the UK, then
the easiest way to do so is on the new site 
http://gowers.openrightsgroup.org/ set up by
the Open Rights Group (Think eff but in the UK).
They have sliced the Call for Evidence into
bite-sized chunks, each of which you can comment on.

Or as Cory Doctrow puts it, War stories needed for
UK review of "Intellectual Property". The Open Rights
Group (ORG) has just launched a website where the
public can comment on the Call for Evidence from the
Gowers Review, a Treasury-level review of intellectual
property in the UK. The Gowers Review deadline is the
end of April, and it is an important opportunity to
provide an alternative viewpoint on copyright, patents
and other aspects of IP. We can be sure that the
industries which rely on IP will be lobbying heavily,
and it's essential we provide balance in the debate.
The ORG is particularly looking for first-hand
accounts of using IP in business (regardless of the
size of that business) or in your personal life that
illustrate the problems with the current regime.

ORG has no restrictions on where in the world you
are from, but it would be handy to know if people are
not in the UK. The same principles are at work in many
countries, and examples from abroad are instructive
even when there is no direct parallel to UK law.

"At the Enterprise Conference on 2 December 2005,
the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that, as
part of the Pre-Budget Report 2005 package, he was
asking Andrew Gowers to lead an Independent Review to
examine the UK's intellectual property framework. Mr.
Gowers will be assisted by a small secretariat of
civil service officials. The review will report to the
Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Trade and
Industry and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media
and Sport in Autumn 2006. The Gowers Review of
Intellectual Property launched its consultation phase
with a formal call for evidence on 23 February

"The call for evidence consists of a
letter from Andrew Gowers, accompanying an 
issues paper, which provides details of the
scope of the Review and sets out a number of
general and specific issues on which we would
particularly like to gather evidence. It also invites 
respondents to highlight other issues for
consideration by the Review."

What is the scope of the review I hear you ask, "The
Review will examine all elements of the IP system, to
ensure that it delivers incentives while minimising
Hard to complain that not broad enough.


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