Monday, May 14, 2012

IP / IT Blogging in Dutch now

After a so-called radio silence on this blog, I'd decide to keep you informed about my latest activities. I didn't quit blogging at all. It is only not visible on this website, after my call earlier here I soon got a job offer at a publishing house.

I am the editor-in-chief of a website on Intellectual Property Law called:
On the IT and Law practice I blog on the latest case law on this site, called:
And the commercial advertisement industry's latest case law is to be found on

All these areas of law are creative, deal with the latest technology and case law is continiously developing new standards. And due to that the publishing house also has me as their conference manager:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

no activity report (@ blog)

First of all I would like to thank you for the input you, readers, gave me regarding the guerilla marketing and on the (international)job search.

Second due to some intense research (connected to the aforementioned posts) I have not been able to write on this blog the past months. My activities lately
- post academic course on contract law, Rotterdam
- post academic course on media users & media effects, Leuven
- research on guerilla marketing in the Netherlands
- research on the IP related job market, nationally and internationally
- preparing articles on the definition of "advertisement" in the NL and Europe and recent changes...
- doing research after RSS feeds: select new interesting feeds, delete non-interesting ones

So much is done, and more will follow the next time.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you have something that could interest me

Monday, November 1, 2010

I am looking for a traineeship/ job opportunity

Maybe some of you have noticed, but currently I am applying for positions as legal counsel / consultant in the area of intellectual property (©, ®, TM), ICT, marketing, games and music industry.

So far the employer that wants to hire me, hasn't found me yet.
So in case you know any positions, I am open to your suggestions...

photo credits: Looking for gator ... CC-BY katieb50 @

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

guerilla or ambush marketing on social networks... your input

There has been a lot in the media about the so-called guerilla or ambush marketing. A definition:
"An unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget Guerrilla marketing is quite different from traditional marketing efforts. Guerrilla marketing means going after the conventional goals of profits, sales and growth but doing it by using unconventional means, such as expanding offerings during gloomy economic days to inspire customers to increase the size of each purchase."(1)
One of the biggest examples that was spread (unintentionally) worldwide was about the so-called #Bavaria-babes'. Legally speaking marketing techniques are often covered by numerous laws, so each marketing activity has to be looked at individually by jurists. Preferably one consults a legal consultant before undertaking any activity.

Nowadays one starts with a new phenonom called called viral marketing on social networks...

Have you come across some examples of such marketing activities lately? Or are you planning one and want some legal advice? Tell me and we'll let it work: djrsterenborg(#)
P.S. I am currently preparing a legal article on ambush marketing activity of car wiper advertisement, but maybe some of your examples are more interesting...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Work on the moon!

I know, this doesn't seem to be a typical header for my (quasi) academic stories. Though there is a reason: I am actively looking for job opportunities on the web, while using Google. And definately have some interest in working at GOOGLE INC.. Just than I came across the following...

I believe this hasn't been on the news, but Google is recruiting people to work on a (still going to be build) facility ON THE MOON!
Interesting to think about which labour and tax laws will apply to the employers, since the moon(1) or outer space(2) is not under the jurisdiction of any nation. Not to mention that Google is a company and the treaties applicable are agreements between states ;)
(1) Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, Dec. 5, 1979, 1363 U.N.T.S. 3
(2) "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of Statesin the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, includingthe Moon and Other Celestial Bodies". 1/1/08. Retrieved 2/7/10.
PHOTO Credits: and more: here.

For those really interested probably US Law does apply since Google INC. is a US Corporation and therefore the law of the employer does apply...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Orphan Works limitations - a one days perspective... with an indefinate effect

Late March I was encountered by the organisation ELSA from Greece if I could write an academic entry for their digital magazine De Jure. Of course I couldn't resist and re-wrote a part of my previous publication, which happen to be still available in hard-copy English version.

On the pages 84 to 96 you'll find my article about one of the proposed solutions for solving the Orphan Works situaton, which is advocated by the Britisch Screen Advisory Council (BSAC) and how it could be implemented considering the Three Step Test of the Berne Convention and TRIPs Agreement.

I just noticed that some hyperlinks (see table of contents) were not noticed by the editor. Also some Dutch phrases were kept in the footnotes... sorry for that!

Suggested citation: D.J.R. Sterenborg, 'Orphan Works limitations - a one days perspective... with an indefinate effect', De Jure 2010-3, p. 84-96.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How google works !

This post doesn't really involve a lot of academic research as I did with previous posts.

Though, I suppose not many people know about "how google works". So if you maintain a website, blog, or are otherwise interested in how your marketing activity can be optimalized. Do some research after Search Engine Optimilization (SEO), which happens to be my current hobby.

Traditional websites and businesses now have the chance to see how their digital presence can be better. Since the world is being googlified / googlificated. One should not ignore this post.

How Google Works.

Infographic by the Pay Per Click Blog (by PPC blog)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Orphan works. In search of an international workable solution

Limited edition Publication 12 left

Available per 24 June 2010

D.J.R. Sterenborg, Orphan Works. In Search of an international workable model, Ossendrecht: privately published 2010 (ISBN: 978-90-8891-185-9)

Order/E-mail me: info(a)
Promotion-pdf: table of contents/ chapter 1 / cover > click here
Authors personal note is possible

This is the enhanced version of the earlier published Dutch version; re-edtitted and updated according to the current status-quo and commented and edited by others.

Price (excl. international shipping): €20,-

Reduced (excl. shipping) for students or participants at conferences (where I participate): €15,-


The use of a work subject to copyright protection requires permission of the author(s) and/or right holder(s), but what if necessary information is not available? E.g. when an author/right holder is unknown? Many practical issues are about how to contact these: how can correct personal data be found from an author with a common name? And what if the author can be found, but the right holder can not be? Works that are subject to copyright protection but of which the author can not be traces nor contacted, is the issue of the so-called ‘orphan works’.

In the time of a globalized world wide (web) market, cross border situation often occur. From article 5 of the Bern Convention copyrights are protected according to the national laws of the Member of that Convention.

This publication analyses management measures and contractual models as well as legal solutions for this emerging and world wide situation. The test framework takes into account the exercise of moral and economic rights, the sufficiency of legal certainty, flexibility and the costs for the possible users, the number of participants that are involved with the rights clearance process, and if legal changes and recognition are needed and feasible. Finally the developments in how is dealt with the situation are presented.

Artwork: © 2010, DJR Sterenborg

Monday, April 5, 2010

Music | Copyright Law | Business Models in Lithuania

Even during a 'relaxing time' whilst doing a traineeship at AGATA. I'll make sure my stay will not be unnoticed. Whenever you are near, please visit one of my lectures, I'd be pleased:

Thursday 6th May 2010, 4 p.m.
Vilnius University
The Future of... Music Copyright

Wednesday 12th May 2010, 4 p.m.
Mykolo Romeriu University (MRU)
Lecture + Workshop
"Let's talk about Music Copyright"

Have to get to work > watch previous post.

Photo credits: Angelo Losanno - (thanks for the permission to ELSA)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Collecting societies, let's take a closer look

being involved with my Master thesis, book publication and nowadays translating this book about the Orphan Works situation into a legal English version I have read a lot about collective management organisations (hereinafter: CMOs).

CMOs can have a role... a partial solution to the feared orphan works situation I have been dealing with in the aforementioned publications. Extented Collective Licensing(1), legal presumption of representation, indemnity clauses and even the mandatory collective exercise of rights(2) all are forms in which CMOs get involved. But only a partial solutions, like in solution per nation or region, in my publications I have found out that actually none of the solutions known at the moment could give a real satisfaction within an international environment such as the internet.

I have based this conclusion on the following orphan works viability test:
1) Is the exercise of moral right by authors guaranteed?
2) Is the exercise of economic rights by authors and copyright owners guaranteed?
3) Does the measure create sufficient (legal) certainty for users?
4) Is the measure sufficiently flexible for its users? Does anyone wants to make use of such a system?
5) What are the costs for an individual user? And in international situations?
6) Who participate within the system? Does it deal with many (international) actors?
7) Does the measure rhyme with current legislation? Are changes (international) politically feasible?
8) Is (mutual) recognition in other legal systems possible?

Not one of the solutions in which CMOs are involved is satisfying so far...

I wonder... do they actually manage the authors and neighbouring rights collectively? And is there really not administrative/contractual model possible in which situations like these can be solved?
What about the pilot project with BUMA/STEMRA (dutch CMO) and Creative Commons? Can it be rolled out to other countries?

So I go to Lithuania...
...since it is time for me to take a closer look at those organisations. And what better to do that from the inside. Well, I have (applied and) been selected to do a traineeship at AGATA, the Lithuanian Neighbouring Rights Association in Vilnius. Why in Lithuania? Well, I saw the opportunity there and simply couldn't resist.

My stay will be there just for one month, but I hope to receive a better perspective on what those organisations do and how they innovate on this issue...

(1) more on this issue by: T. Koskinen-Olsson, ‘Collective management in the Nordic countries’, in: Gervais (red.), Collective management of copyright and related rights, Den Haag: Kluwer International 2006, p. 257-282.
(2) S.J. van Gompel, ‘Unlocking the Potential of Pre-Existing Content: How to Address the Issue of Orphan Works in Europe?’, IIC International Review of Intellectual property and Competition Law (38), 2007-6, p. 669-702; IViR: (online version used), p. 15-19.

anqa @ CC: BY-NC

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Orphan Works. De zoektocht naar een internationaal werkbaar model.

Mijn boek te koop¤
¤ UPDATE 26 maart 2010: ¤ eerste druk is uitverkocht/weggegeven via het pay-what-you-want-principe, tweede druk wordt overwogen

D.J.R. Sterenborg, Orphan Works. De zoektocht naar een internationaal werkbaar model, Oisterwijk: Uitgeverij BOX Press 2010
(ISBN-registration: 978-90-8891-154-5)

Price: €15 incl. VAT/BTW
E-mail me: info(a)
Promo-pdf: inhoudsopgave / hoofdstuk 1 / omslag


Het gebruik van een auteursrechtelijk beschermd werk vereist voorafgaande toestemming van de auteur(s) en/of rechthebbende(n), maar wat als noodzakelijke informatie niet beschikbaar is? Bijvoorbeeld als auteur/rechthebbende onbekend is? Vele praktische problemen gaan over de contacteerbaarheid van deze: hoe worden de juiste naw-gegevens gevonden van een auteur met een veelvoorkomende naam? En wat als de auteur gevonden kan worden, maar de rechthebbende niet? Auteursrechtelijk beschermde werken waarvan de auteur niet op de sporen valt en/of niet te contacteren is, is het probleem van de zogenaamde ‘orphan works’.

In een geglobaliseerde (internet)markt gaat dit vaak gepaard met grensoverschrijdende aspecten. Het auteursrecht beschermd echter - zo vloeit voort uit artikel 5 van de Berner Conventie - conform het nationaal recht van de aangesloten landen.

Dit boek analyseert zowel management en contractuele modellen als wettelijke oplossingen voor deze wereldomvattende situatie. Het toetsingskader hiervoor houdt rekening met uitoefening van de morele en economische rechten, de rechtszekerheid, flexibiliteit en de kosten voor de mogelijke gebruikers, hoeveelheid actoren die betrokken zijn bij een rights clearance proces, en of wetgevende veranderingen en erkenning noodzakelijk en haalbaar zijn. Tot slot wordt een ontwikkeling geschetst hoe met dit probleem wordt omgegaan.

. . . English version is being drafted . . .
be patient, pre-order now at the aforementioned mail address...
Working title: "Orphan Works. In search of an international workable solution"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

SarcMark - a ©opyright protected, registered TradeMark and Patent pending punctuation mark

People one can now make a sarcastic notice 'markable' by using the SARCMARK TM. Of course anyone needs that¤(1). Interesting though is the use of different rights regimes to protect it, "equal rights for sarcasm"® the website claims(2): One claims copyright protection, made a trademark registration and there is a patent pending. On top of that Sarcasm is exploiting a punctuation mark with a licence.

Copyright protection
Copyright automatically is a right that derives from the sole creation of a work in the literairy, scientific and artistic domain(3). Still a work needs to be original and has to carry out the personal imprint of its creator. Sarcasm on the other hand is an abstract definition and it is difficult to capture it visually. I often misunderstand people in these sarcastic matters when it only comes in writing. So yes, I always missed the punctuation mark on my laptops keyboard ;) (-^').

It is with some doubt that the "dot with a squiggle" meets that criterium of copyright protection.

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes a company's goods or services. I think that SARCASM Inc. took the right decision to register(*) the punctuation dot with squiggle mark. Though isn't it strange to register a trademark and then you sell it non-exclusively towards online purchasers? In most times trademarks are being sold non-exclusively when one exploits a franchise-enterprise. But now it is being 'franchised' to a unknown number of individuals.

Though the value of the trademark registration that allows the registree to prevent the use of his punctuation mark is rather increased compared to the sole trademark use.

Patent pending
About the pending patent I have thought a while, but it actually make sense. First it has many similarities with the @-sign. Its first known use was by Medieval
munks to abbreviated the Latin word ad (at, toward, by, about) and used commercially by merchants to symbolize the word "per" (price "per/@" piece) and other similar uses(4). Nowadays the @-sign is commonly used in emailaddresses, since its introduction by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. He introduced this usage as a new form which didn't exist. Though as far as my research goes, it wasn't patented for this use.

Secondly patents can be granted, though it very much depends per country, that an invention claims to be new, inventive and useful or industrially applicable (5). Back to the SARCMARK:
  • the sign is new, since it has not been used for this purpose AND
  • inventive, probably a skilled person would not have come up with this solution to a social-cultural problem of 'not understanding sarcasm' AND
  • useful (that one is subjective and questionable), one could say it has a clear purpose, but if anyone would use it is worth a second thought, OR
  • industrially applicable, one could say that the sign is to be used in digital communication.
Until I could get a hand on the patent application, my guess would be that a patent might be granted*.

The software license
You acknowledge that the SarcMark Software is made available to You for Your personal use only and that You may download the software onto only one computer hard drive. Commercial use of the SarcMark Software must be approved in writing by Sarcasm, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary New Write, LLC. You agree not to (and agree not to assist or facilitate any third party to) copy, reproduce, transmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or create derivative works of the SarcMark Software(5).

The license only mentions terms and conditions relating to personal use of the SARCMARK software. Leaving the TM-issue mentioned above aside, the purchase of the SARCMARK Software does include the punctuation mark (remember the dot with squiggle). Does the license then include the terms and conditions for the use of the SARCMARK punctiation itself? The license is unclear about this. But since you purchase the license for the software just to use the mark, there are no limitations to the use of the mark itself.

So basically the use of copyright to protect a new introduced punctuation mark does work. But when one builds software around it, together with the software license, that allows the use of the software, it automatically means that there is a build-in license to use the punctuation mark itself without any restrictions that exceeds the original 'use of software' license.
(1) instead of the 'real mark' I have used this punctuation (Ctrl+Alt+4 on a QWERTY-keyboard)
(2) SARCASM Inc., Overview, at:
(3) Art. 2 Berne Convention on literary and artistic works for the protection of literary and artistic works (Paris Text 1971).
(4) wikipedia contributors, "At-sign" at:, 18 january 2010.
(5) Terms and Conditions of SARCMARK INC..
(*) Please note that I used the mark through copy-paste option as a way of "fair use"/used the citation-exception.
(*) I found the registration of the SarcMark TM registration:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Dit is Parkour" brochure

I have been confronted with the question whether Parkour is illegal according to law(closed forum). This was the main question on, and I answered that it could be, in some cases and drafted a "best practise" guideline.

Along with that, the idea came along that it is better to prevent conversations with the police and people from the neighborhood and create an information brochure. Since Parkour is quite an unknown (urban) sport, especially in little villages. The brochure was easily made in one day after the initial idea.

Of course I used some pictures of others and I had some doubts but I think I solved the legal part.

First: Thanks to Malene Hald for the drawings she had put on her blog online:

I have cited three of the six characters you have drawn and uploaded.
I gave credit to your name and to your blog.
I put your name in the "labels for this post"
Hopefully many people will try to reach your blog and maybe you'll get an assignment through my reference.

Secondly: Thanks to MATT-JAM3S for the GIF-file with stickfigures.
I have made three Prt Scrs and then editted the figures completely into a figure I found good enough for the brochure.

I have cited three screenshots out of a GIF-file.
I gave credit to your name and to the location of the GIF-file.
But I gave myself the credits for the composition, due to the fact that I have made it a totally different structure, idea and created a derivative work.

"Dit is Parkour": Dutch brochure (drafted: 7 octber 2009).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Assignees and (C) or (TM) infringement

My sister (Yutta Sterenborg) is now getting into the business of "signmaking". So for all your T-shirts and commercial advertisement on e.g. windows, cars go to her homepage: Due to that I have been thinking about infringement action by assistent parties.

Creating and developing T-shirts, car stickers, commercial window covers for restaurants, etc, is her main task. The assignments she gets often seems like an action infringing copyright or trademark laws. When she is using a logo with permission from the one who owns the logo, there is no problem whatsoever, like here:

When she is copying a logo from a trademark owner that is not the assignment giving person. Who is liable for the infringing action: Should the assigment giving person be the only one that can be held liable in court for an infringing action Could the one reproducing the trademark or copyrighted work held liable? Or is the reproducing person only a tool to infringe? Is there automatically a rule that says that the assignment giving person is liable for his actions?

In other words: What is her position?

In my view this could be settled with the use of general terms of agreement. Though in the signmaking business it is not quite a settled practice to hand over the general terms of agreement before or upon an agreement is reached. There is often only an oral agreement:

Assignment giving person: "Could you create a T-shirt that says: "All men are like wine, the older they get the better they become". Assignee: "Yes, I can..." and within 3 minutes a T-shirt seize, color, print is created and customly made for the individual.

But since the person giving the assignment (in the end) profits from the work created, in my view the assisting person is not to be held liable. There is often not much of credit for the person who created the tool for the assignment giving person. There are often more benefits/credits for the one who wears, drives or run a shop with a commercial window cover.

According to the law the assignment also ends upon delivery of a good product/service. After this there is no legal relationship left, unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the product or service, and as one might expect and ask for a repair (not being an copyright or trademark infringement).

Basically in my view, the assignee ceases to have any liability, when the custom-made good or product is delivered. During the time the assignment is not yet full-filled the assignement giving person could always refuse to accept the result. And in most of the cases, there is nothing made public yet and no infringement took place. Due to the fact that the assignement giving person accepts the product or service, he/she also receives the liability for the product or service.

The relationship between the two (assignment giver and assignee) should govern the legal infringement. And in my view the assignee should be protected in this matter, since the assignment giver profits from the work and paid (probably) a minimal lump sum compared to the possible legal infringment cost the assignee otherwise faces.

When the assignment giver explicitly pays a lot more, one could expect that the assignee took over the liability for infringement. Though an assignee might not be competitive enough if he/she does that and will not get any assignments.

But it really depends on the circumstances of each case. It should all be judged upon the own merit of the case.
All pictures are used under the exception of "Quotation", the copyright lies in the hands of Yutta Sterenborg (my sister) and can be seen on

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - Web Designer

You probably have noticed that I was a bit away. As main reason I had arranged myself a full time traineeship at Hoogenraad & Haak Advocaten (advertising + IP lawyers). Additional to that I have been busy with my music law presentation, my final master thesis (sorry not updates on that one) and

For that last project I answer the legal questions, mostly connected to IP Law, but also contract law. For this last project they are calling for additional web-designers who would like to cooperate on an open source, online media platform.

The call is as follows, and please forward to any one who might be interested:

Wanted: Web-Designer

Posted on May 13th, 2009 Jona No comments
wanted: web designer

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Old work prevent from getting dusted

When I was reviewing my blog and website as well as my google ranking for my traineeship outcome I noticed my work is getting dusted. Just the opposite from being orphaned, since my name is written all over the place including web address to contact me through.

As an experiment I want to see when the google crawl spider will find my work again in case I publish the link here;

It is the outcome of Dutch Media Law research when I was at the university in Passau:
D.J.R. Sterenborg, Medienrecht in den Niederlanden, 28th august 2008, WWW <<>>

Also available on my personal homepage: under downloads
After 12 days this message was scanned by a Google Alert on "Daniël Sterenborg"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

IFP successes

I have listed the successes off the European Law Students' Association (ELSA)s International Focus Programme on Intellectual property law.

In case your ELSA event was not listed, contact me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Digitization of Cultural Heritage

One limit I put to my master thesis is that I consider that all digital orphaned works have been digitalized legally. With this I limit my readers in concerning about whether or not digitalization of copyrighted works is allowed already? Although with reproduction rights, one might solve this problem?

Lately I have been to a few conferences in The Netherlands and Belgium to get some thoughts
about it. In case you are interested, click on the following links:
- CIER/Nationale Unesco Commissie Expertmeeting 9 januari 2009: Immaterieel Erfgoed, materials here
- SURFfoundation, massadigitalisering en commissie digiti©E
, on 29 januari 2009.
- De grote ontmoeting tussen Vlaanderen en Nederland - Digitalisering van erfgoed: doenbaar en betaalbaar?
Antwerpen, België

Picture from Creative Commons-BY-NC-SA lost-theory

Sunday, January 25, 2009

User Generated Content - Music Law

Exams are passed, results are in and - as you might have noticed - I have the degree of Bachelor of Law (LL.B.). So that is why I did had the time or inspiration to sit back and post anything on this blog.

What also happened is that I have accepted the invitation by the European Law Students' Association, sector Bonn, Germany to give a speech at their conference from 26-27th February 2009 about User Generated Content about Music & Law! And this post is to give a preliminary preview on this lecture.

Music & Law

<1> The Story
The thing about music is that many people enjoy it. Whether this is classical music or pop/alternative or even hiphop music. There are all kinds of music styles, and together with that even many more musicians.

Music makes us dance, has emotions in it, is being used at different locations everywhere in the world. It makes us celebrate, mourn or makes us avoid being annoyed by any silence.

With new technologies, and more important, that these fast spreading technologies reach 'household' in a very fast way, people nowadays only need a computer and some internet infrastructure to get familiar with music. In other words we 'download' mp3-files, e.g. music, because we enjoy, because we consume, because it is accessible and because it is easy accessible.

>Note that I am repeating the argument, but not the content<
With new technologies, and more important, that these fast spreading technologies reach 'musical entities' in a very fast way, many musicians only need a computer and some internet infrastructure to sample and create music. In other words, the internet provide for many musicians the bases to re-create, re-mix and re-use.

<2> The Law

Most (at least) western state laws constitutes a freedom of expression and of information. For the European Union article 10 section 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights does apply:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and
ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of
broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises."

Of course these rights can be subject to limitations, as is done with paragraph 2 of the same article. One of them can be granting a time-limited copyright for creators of a work. Copyright constituted two main exclusive rights for authors of content first to multiply and second to publish their works. This can be done in any form and in any way they like, copyright law is not prescribing nor limiting the forms.

<3> The Technology

Technology – controlled artefacts of any kind – enable people to do things they have not been able to do before the technology was introduced. And because of the huge impact and the access of artefacts/ technology, people are able to do things, they don’t even know they can, nor that they know whether this is allowed or not anyway.

In this short preview we’ll stick to the idea that this is also the case with ‘household’ to use computers (with internet access) are being used all over the world. This new technology leads to many innovative projects, non-web and especially web-based activities are booming.

<4> The Innovation
There are three cooperating stages to innovate. Technology - controlled artefacts of all kinds - enables people to do things they have not been able to do before the technology was introduced. For technology to be successful, it needs to be used by people. Without technology being used by people or being developed so more people can use it, it is doomed to be forgotten. At the final stage, the law prohibits people to use technology or applications of technology.

Dr. Pieter Kleve, has put that in a nice graphic design, an alternated version is published here (1):

So basically, with consumers on one hand and with musicians on the other hand at one medium: the internet, we have an established market. Consumers and content creators are meeting at one medium. But along with the very accessible technology development for consumers, also regular consumers can become content creators. And so where we do have numerous of possibilities to consume, share and recreate music (or even, to generalize it: culture). In term of the diagram: the circle of business administration (what people want/ need) is growing bigger, though the law might interpret the new technologies (with all its ‘open norms’) as infringement.

My lecture will concentrate three issues:

- the desired effects considering consumers and creators of culture

- the law in at least 3 countries(2)

- examples of new business models for consumers ánd content creators online. There a no need for new laws, no new interpretations of the law. There is a way that the desired effect, that technology is being used for the benefits of all of mankind, without that the law limits the effects unwanted for those who embrace it.

Hope to see you in Bonn, Germany. The lecture will be held in German, to subscribe please go to:

(1) P. Kleve, "juridische iconen van het informatietijdperk", Deventer: Kluwer 2008, p.23 For Download available at: in hard-copy via:

(2) Probably, USA, France and the Netherlands.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Europeana online again

Many people were curious about the project of digitalization of (hard-copied) works. In fact with 10 million hits an hour, on 20 November 2008, the servers were not capable of providing a fast crawl over the website

Europeana is the online digitalization project funded by the European Union. The project is involved in digitaliza
tion of all kinds works of art: text, images, videos and sounds.

But why is this interesting?

Firstly, since all over the world orphan works legislation pops up. And many of those legislative initiative have two things in common:
  • the copyright holder are not easily be found, and
  • there has to have been a diligent research.
Of course one can debate about what a diligent research is. But I will not at this point, but at the core of most (provisional) legislation one has to proof, whether for getting a public license, or as a defense before a court, if a diligent research took place.

What many people claim in the upcoming (provisional) U.S. Act is that the law automatically orphans the work of creators and one has to register to get copyright protection (2). And that private registry initiatives (that do not exist yet) are to be set up in order to protect copyrighted works.

This is by the way not really true, since many international copyright treaties will prevent that from going to a registry system, especially article 5(2) Berne Convention
(3). As well that only works whereby the copyright holder is not easy to be found and so copyright holder have to become active in preventing their work to become orphans, private initiatives will probably solve this problem.

Secondly, it is interesting to see that a problem arisen from the internet is now tackled by that same medium. As David Sanger mentioned on the SAA Orphan Works Blog(4):
Even the major websites often strip metadata for performance reasons. Whatever the cause, once removed from its context and stripped of identifying data even a properly licensed, well attributed image becomes extremely difficult to trace.(5)
The initiatives mentioned by the Lisa Shaftel of the Graphic Artists Guild is to prevent works from being orphaned, could be helpfull:
  • register your works with the US Copyright Office.
  • be sure to put you name and date of creation somewhere on all your works legibly.
  • keep copies of your copyright registrations with hard copy prints of the works.
  • tell your heir(s)- the person or people you will name in your will or living trust- about your works and show them where your paper files are.
  • write a will or living trust.(6)
Initiatives like Europeana, or in general the digitalization of all kinds of works, are most likely resulting in less orphaned works. When the aforementioned diligent search does not involve databases like these, it is most unlikely that it is considered to be diligent before a copyright board or before court.

So initiatives like these have to be supported in order to prevent the problem we are facing, and eventually the problem that a digital environment created is being transferred into a progressive solution in that same environment. Since even the hardcopied world is being covered by the databases.

I see many connections with Google Book Search Project

Thirdly, Interesting is also the goal of the MILE-project:
MILE (Metadata Image Library Exploitation) aims to promote European cultural heritage and make digital art more accessible by improving metadata.(8)
I see many connections with Google Image Labeller project (the web 2.0 version of meta-data-adding): please contribute and do this game at least once :).

(2), listen to
(5) David Sanger, Metadata and attribution,
(6) Lisa Shaftel, National Advocacy Committee Chairperson,
Project your artistic works from becoming orphans, (version: August 16, 2005), last viewed: 24 December 2008.
(8) MILE Project,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blogs will get more interactive

I just stumbled upon the following interactive way of linking items of blogs: Apture

Thanks to RSS I get in touch with many more items to make this blog work! You should give it a try too. Press E to open the Apture when logged in on your own blog.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Orphan Works - Master Thesis

Supported by a lawyer and lecturer of my university I decided to write my final master thesis about Orphan Works in a digital environment:
An orphan work is a copyrighted work where it is difficult or impossible to contact the copyright holder.(1)
But, now is the second question: what aspects do I want to highlight? Do I want to compare judicial systems (if any)? Or do I want to present the current status-quo of the legislative procedure in the EU? What is wished for, what are the principles for going into debate about the solution?

Here some preliminairy preview, based on online research of three hours.


Section 77 subsection (1) of the Copyright act (2):

Owners Who Cannot be Located
77. (1) Where, on application to the Board by a person who wishes to obtain a licence to use
(a) a published work,
(b) a fixation of a performer's performance,
(c) a published sound recording, or
(d) a fixation of a communication signal

in which copyright subsists, the Board is satisfied that the applicant has made reasonable efforts to locate the owner of the copyright and that the owner cannot be located, the Board may issue to the applicant a licence to do an act mentioned in section 3, 15, 18 or 21, as the case may be.

Meaning that the Copyright Board may give a license to allow the use of the orphaned work. But only if the board is satisfied with the efforts made by the applicant. They also point out that some applicants can simply use works, since it falls under the concept of fair use in American law or exception of quotation under the more EU related laws:
This two-sentence description of a highway is not a substantial part of the 136-page long book in which it is found. Using those two sentences does not expropriate the essence or flavour of the work. Consequently, no licence is required and the application is dismissed.(3)


There will be/ is legislation in America, based on the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act, S. 2913.

Main thing - and this is based on some YouTube-videos (4)- all works will have to be registered to profit from the protection by law. Many Users have noted that this is will lead to the use of UGC by corporations. A nice follow-up let's say to the Web 2.0 applications. Remember the Virgin Mobile issue on : "hey that's me! no joke. i think i'm being insulted...can you tell me where this was taken. " Maybe we will see more of this kind of usage when corporations "crowd source" the internet for creative works...

When you did not register, well then you will not have any commercial intentions with your work, but we do!!!!
(3) Copyright Board Canada, 2007-UO/TI-22 at
(4) therealweeklynews, CORPORATE THEFT - THE ORPHAN WORKS BILL, at
(5) Cartoon, used with fair use exception of visual quotation from:
(6) Photo: (c) 2008, some rights reserved, by Michael Mistretta at Creative Commons License

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Master thesis - doubts

It has been a while since I uploaded my last presentations. In the mean while I have give a few presentations based upon the downloadable presentations of 30th of October 2008.

And now I have been searching for a new Master Thesis Theme.
Since I first wanted to research if there was a right to free and accessible internet. But after some research I found out that just one year ago a Dutch student already researched it and mainly discussed the issues I wanted to put into my Master thesis(1).

So I will research what other themes I would like to research for my Master thesis. It will probably have to do with "fair use", "internet", "human rights" and/or "creativity".

I was thinking about:
  • how can the "fair use" doctrine contribute to the right on information?
  • how can "fair use" by applied in a digital network (comparative research American doctrine and the EU law based written exceptions)?
  • what can one do with "orphan works" and how do international treaties deal with this?
  • Via the Copyright acts, is the right to access to internet protected?
  • Issues on Traditional knowledge: what are the current issues, what are the difficulties to overcome?
I will keep you up to date about future developments in my "hunt" for the most interesting Master Thesis theme.
(1) for the ones interested:, or more specifically: (only available in dutch).
(2) (c) 2007, photo from author unknown - in case you think you know or are the author, please send me a notice that includes: your full name, proof of authorship and ownership and I'll give you full credits on this blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presentations on IP Law at ELSA ICM Nuremberg

Just a small reminder for you: if you use these presentations, please notify me about responses of people. You can comment on this article.

Workshop AA + S&C and IFP: click here!
Workshop STEP and IFP: click here!

Enjoy and give Credits according to the license!

Daniël Sterenborg

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Open Design --> Open License Patent

A follow-up to the previous post:

I was shocked by the fact that more and more 'artistic works' got a creative commons license. Especially CC-licensed sounds and now even Creative Commons Design licenses. But I have taken a closer look at the Open Design movement, more specifically
"Imagine being able to buy the digital blueprints to any object, being able to take it to a skilled professional and have it produced directly. Imagine instant access to quality design ideas and the means to manufacture products on demand. Imagine completely removing the middleman."(1)

So, actually designers allow people to re-create, re-use and share a copy of the design blueprint. In the you can see that they sell blueprints, though afterwards you are free to spread the blueprints and use them as you want, as long as you respect the license and act within the legal license borders. Cool!

So I can download how I can build a chair from cart board, or easily create a rockit garden seat or even a 'street sofa'(2). The blueprint is to be downloaded for just a few pounds, and one can found what the estimated costs of creation will be.
So what people have already done with photos, making it available! In combination with what the patent system does, carefully describing how the (design) patent works with in exchange for a temporare monopoly, this can result in something interesting.

Collaborative patents often results in successfull and qualitive products, e.g. common practise is that joint R&D departments are set up in order to innovate and come to better products.

I expect that more people, individual creators, maybe small creative companies that they will not patent their inventions, though that they will use open source designs and patents in order to really innovate. What do you think about it: patents are refined, building upon each others innovations, that could really set the start of a new innovation stadium.

We'll see what the next CC Open License stage will be. Will innovative companies join this collaborative and open license for 'quasi-patents'(3)? Hopefully they move their not so innovative patents to the open license area and take the credit for it and they can focus and secure on their real innovations.

(3) D.J.R. Sterenborg, "Patentrecht macht dein Leben teuer", via p. 9 and 10