The Lecture With Charles Clark

Continuing with the copyright theme, this year’s Charles Clark lecture was delivered by Shira Perlmutter, Acting Administrator for Policy and External Affairs at USPTO.  Her talk set out the differences between recent legislation on copyright in the USA and Europe, and indicated the areas in which each could claim to be ahead of the other.

She said that, given the shared interests and concerns of both communities, in the future close transatlantic co-operation would be vital: the outcomes required by each might differ, but their approaches should be co-ordinated.  She said that there were three main issues to consider: to ensure that the development of international markets could be allowed to continue without jeopardising copyright; that specific legal rules, although they might have to be rigid, should be embedded where possible in a more flexible framework; and that more legislation should be developed to set boundaries and limits, rather than addressing specific copyright infringement issues.

She concluded by saying that publishers should continue to co-operate in the updating of the legal framework of copyright; that they should provide forums for and encourage voluntary approaches towards copyright observation; and that they should engage more in educating the public to encourage its acceptance of what publishers do.