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: