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BPI Takes, 'An Important Step Forward'
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-06-04
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In a reality adjustment worthy of outgoing RIAA boss Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen, the BPI (British Phonograph Industry) has flannelled a legal defeat as "an important step forward."

In a May 22 judgment centering on Regina v Johnstone, Britain's House of Lords "clarified" section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, the section used by UK Trading Standards authorities to prosecute traders in counterfeit goods.

In 1999, Johnstone pled guilty to 12 trademark offences after being nabbed with bootleg CDs of recording artists including Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones and U2. He later appealed, arguing that he'd only described the contents of the products bearing the words - ie, music by 'Bon Jovi' - and hadn't, "been allowed to run certain defences, including the statutory defence under s92."

The Court of Appeal agreed, but on January 31 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) appealed and, boasted the BPI (The UK's RIAA clone), "the court allowed the BPI to assist their Lordships as an intervenor in this case."

However, the BPI's valuable assistance notwithstanding, House of Lords dismissed the CPS appeal, ruling that Johnstone should have been permitted to run the defences he'd wanted to.

BPI director general Andrew Yeates said in a press release, "The BPI is pleased to have been involved in this final appeal and regards this as an important step forward in the ongoing fight against counterfeiting and piracy."


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