Monday, June 24th 2013
All you ever wanted to know about copyright...


By Aparna Assomull Bundro

The world of copyright law seemed a little less esoteric after an evening spent listening to and sipping wine with Gabriella Kennedy, copyright specialist and partner of Hogan Lovells.

At an event hosted at the FCC on Monday, 24 June, Gabriella managed to take a rather austere subject and inject it with levity, as she recounted humorous case law to illustrate her points, taking time as well to punctuate her speech with personal anecdotes from her deep well of experience as an IP specialist.

As writers coming together to find out more about how they could protect their individual pieces of work, the 15 or so of us who gathered learned about the interesting concept of moral rights and how these could be used in a practical and meaningful way. After jesting that all of us were copyright infringers in some shape or form, she deliberated on what defences could be raised in the event one was accused of infringing copyright and took us through some do's and don'ts in the increasingly popular world of e-publishing. She also parried with the audience over the distinctions between sole licenses, exclusive licenses and non-exclusive licenses and discussed the length of validity for patents referencing James Joyce's Ulysses and Peter Pan.

For a subject that can be vexing, the impromptu Q&A session that threaded its way through the course of the talk gave members an opportunity to spotlight some problematic issues and have these answered in a casual and convivial way.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative evening - and it gave many authors and publishers alike just a little bit more steel in their spines to leverage favourable terms for future contracts.