Life and Style

The two companies have largely been on the same side in the patent wars

John Barry

In his excellent obituary of John Barry (1 February), Spencer Leigh stated: "When the music of Gilbert and Sullivan came out of copyright in 1962...", writes John Crisp. This is wrong. In those days copyright lasted for 50 years after the death of the composer or the author. Sir Arthur Sullivan died in 1900 so his music came out of copyright on 1 January 1951, a fact celebrated by John Cranko and Charles Mackerras by creating a ballet, Pineapple Poll, using Sullivan's music. Sir William Gilbert died in 1911 and so only after 1 January 1962 could his words of the operas be used for other purposes – which resulted in The Cool Mikado.

Four more business quangos axed

The Government is to save £600,000 a year by axing four more business quangos, it was revealed today.

Oracle claims firm stole its intellectual property

Oracle Corp has filed a suit against a little known rival that provides low-cost software maintenance services, in a case similar to one that Oracle is fighting against rival SAP AG.

Cyberclinic: Is it worth actually buying a typeface?

Have you ever bought a font? Within minutes of this question being addressed on our blog this week, I received a stern dressing-down for misusing the word font, when I actually meant "typeface". (I blame both Windows and Mac OS for storing typefaces in a folder named "Fonts".) But the real issue is one of copyright; while the sharing of software applications, music and video receives untold publicity, few people consider humble fonts. The minuscule size of these font files means that they have been swapped with impunity for decades, with no copy protection, serial numbers or reminders that we haven't paid. The only thing stopping them being shared and copied is our sense of guilt.

IP2IPO takes 20% stake in tech unit

The intellectual property company IP2IPO said yesterday it is to invest £2m in a group that commercialises technology spun out of research at the University of Leeds.

Printer group issues warning

XAAR, the ink jet printing group, yesterday issued a profit warning after it failed to sign any new licences for its technology in 1998. However, the disappointment was tempered by the news that Calcomp, a US rival, had ceased shipments of printers which Xaar claimed were infringing its patents.

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