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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Auckland Super City logo unveiled

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I have just read in The Herald on-line (Auckland’s newspaper) that the new logo for the soon to be new Auckland “super city” was announced earlier today – the logo comprises a red Pohutakawa encircled by a green koru circle.

For those of you not from my part of the world, the Pohutakawa is a flowering tree of the gensus “Metrosideros excelsa”, a member of the myrtle family, and is known as New Zealand’s native Christmas tree as it flowers at Christmas time. The koru often used in Maori art as a symbol of creation. It is based on the shape of an unfurling fern frond.

I would have to agree with the judges that the design leaps of the page however I have to wonder how this logo represents Auckland or its council? The Pohutakawa is found throughout New Zealand and there is some still in flower in Wellington as I type even though Christmas has long since passed!

However, I congratulate Jim Dean on having his design (which includes three variations on the Phoutakawa theme) selected from the reported over a thousand entries.

Draft ACTA text officially released for the first time

In ACTA, IP, New Zealand on April 23, 2010 at 10:47 am

At the conclusion of the eighth round of negotiations held in Wellington from 12-16 April, the ACTA participants agreed to publicly release the draft ACTA text (with participant’s names in respect of bracketed options removed). Agreement to release the text was reached on the basis that negotiations have now advanced to a point where making a draft text available to the public will help the process of reaching a final agreement. New Zealand took an active role in this decision. A copy of the draft text is available in the attached PDF .

After all my recent posts about ACTA I will now endeavor to find a different subject matter!

ACTA – Wellington round update

In ACTA, IP, New Zealand on April 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

In furtherance of its pledge of more transparency around the ACTA negotiations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade hosted delegates and (invite only) interested parties including for example, Patent Attorneys (like moi), consumer goods industry representatives, the Open Source Society members and local bloggers. The invitation list appeared to be fairly inclusive and it was great to have an opportunity to meet and chat with some of the local and international delegates.

I gather that everyone has been putting in long hours with the negotiations proceeding into the evening beyond the scheduled hours. Apparently this is due in part to the US wanting to complete these negotiations without too much more delay.

The Ministry has promised more public briefings in the near future.

The weekend preceding the ACTA meeting, Public-ACTA (driven by InternetNZ Inc “a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand and fostering a coordinated, cooperative approach to its ongoing development”.) met and drafted the Wellington Declaration which in part calls for more inclusive and transparent processes for negotiating such an agreement. InternetNZ has proudly announced that the ‘Wellington Declaration’ has been passed to the New Zealand trade negotiators involved in ACTA negotiations. Also, a petition of 6,000 signatures from around NZ and the world from people who publically support the declaration was presented.The petition now has over 8,100 signatures interestingly it includes signatories from countries not currently involved in the ACTA negotiations (such as Brazil, Singapore and South Africa)…

Post Script: Latest media release from the NZ Trade Minister (Tim Groser) is that the negotiating text will be released publicly on 22 April NZ time.

ACTA is hitting town

In ACTA, IP, New Zealand on April 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

With the upcoming 8th round of discussions on ACTA to be held in Wellington, the media is starting to highlight some of the more controversial parts of those discussions.

The Wellington meeting will be held 12 – 16 April 2010 with the meaty issues of border measures, enforcement procedures in the digital environment, criminal measures, civil enforcement and transparency on the agenda. There are many claims that the agenda and venue have been “leaked”. However, the Australian government has quite openly published the agenda on their Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website!

There have been many claims of unnecessary secrecy surrounding the ACTA discussions, and the New Zealand government is one of the champions of greater transparency.

I have previously commented that there appears to be a clear link between ACTA and the proposed section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994.

Officials are repeating their mantra that ACTA will not impact on, or require changes to, section 92A.

It appears that there is more resistance to, than support for, the ACTA discussions – see here, here, here and here for a small random selection of views being put forth.