Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year, Praise the British

Yesterday was my birthday, and my resolution, made to my late mother (aleha ha-shalom), was to be a better person, and particularly less critical. Too many of my posts were critical, especially in tone. So, I resolved to be a kinder, gentler person in Bush 41's terminology (evoking perhaps Nancy Reagan's rejoinder "than whom?"). Perhaps something along the lines of AJ.P. Taylor's admonition to "have strong views lightly held." An easy way to do that is to focus on British scholarship, given its extremely high standards, and no better representative is the Oxford University Press journals.

Over the weekend I was reading two, one which has been around for 27 years, the other for barely one; both are excellent sources. I have read well over 1,000 opinions on statutory interpretation, hundreds of law review articles, and about a dozen books. There is a blog on the topic, Statutory Construction. (which has a delightful monthly feature "Worst statute in the World." But OUP puts out The Statute Review, a wonderful thrice a year journal that has been around for 27 years. Among recent articles are:

Noel Cox
Copyright in Statutes, Regulations, and Judicial Decisions in Common Law Jurisdictions: Public Ownership or Commercial Enterprise?

Edwin Tanner
Clear, Simple, and Precise Legislative Drafting: How Does a European Community Directive Fare?

Daniel Greenberg
The Nature of Legislative Intention and Its Implications for Legislative Drafting

All of these (and many more) are of interest, and I for one have always wondered how Europeans view the drafting quality of the EU Directives.

The other journal is the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice. This journal has been published monthly since November 2005, under the editorship of Jeremy Phillips, co-founder of the great IP Kat blog (Meow to you!). The September 2006 issue has an article by Phil C. W. Chan "Copyright ownership in university students' academic works." The June 2006 issue has an article by Cerys Wyn-Davies and Nav Sunner "Inspiration is not infringement." The April issue has two interesting articles, one by Maarten Schut "Armani found to infringe copyright of Dutch shoe designer," and one by Guido Westkamp "Hyperlinks, circumvention technology and contributory infringement—a precarious tale from German jurisprudence." The journal has many topical features beyond articles and cuts across the whole swath of IP.

The only downside of the journals is their hefty subscription prices, but for those with Westlaw, The Statute Review is available at no extra charge on that service.

3 comments:

Fred von Lohmann said...

Ah, that Guido Westkamp piece about German contributory liability law sounds interesting. Sadly, I can't afford the subscription price. Here's the free abstract:

"A person who sets a link referring to a website offering software for circumventing anti-copying technological devices commits an act of contributory infringement in accordance with the principles of disturbance liability."

Bootlaw said...

Happy Birthday to you, Bill, and a happy new year to all. How nice it would be if the Second Circuit could manage a decision in United States v. Martignon. We've all been eagerly awaiting the outcome for more than a year now. I may be old school, but in my time clerking on the 2d Cir., we ran on a strict 6-month clock to circulate draft opinions with a maximum of six additional weeks to issue a final decision. How can the RIAA redraft 2319A without some timely guidance from the courts?

William Patry said...

Dear Bootlaw, I too am awaiting Martignon, but with fear and trembling. The longest I waited for an opinion from them was two years, but that was because the judge assigned to originally write the opinion died.