The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Monday 26 January 2015


What's the point of writing something when it has already been said so well by someone else? This paragraph (there is more that you can read there) is reposted with his kind permission from Howard Knopf's Excess Copyright blog:
The hyphenated spelling of “trade-mark” had become something of an – ahem – trade-mark for Canada. It was a bold proclamation of independence and innovative thinking when Bob Kelly - an arcane and erudite veteran of the Department of Justice from a bygone era – came up with this bright idea. That hyphen was inserted in 1993 and served a useful purpose, since many people were confused between the American/WIPO spelling ("trademark") and the British spelling ("trade mark"), which the Brits still use. After all, isn’t the purpose of trade-marks law to avoid confusion? Canada had earlier used the British spelling. So - we are now following the American lead...Hopefully, this capitulation will appease the Americans and they will back down on term extension, prevention of parallel imports, repealing fair dealing, jail terms for petty infringers, ACTA implementation, the TPP and other aggressive efforts. As if!
Once upon a time, I was persuaded by a friend that the UK should move to making 'trade mark' a single word, drawing an analogy with the way 'copy-right' had gone. The relentless incoming tide of American cultural imperialism has since caused me greatly to regret ever entertaining such a view, and that Canada should have succumbed (even if the prizes mentioned in Howard's final sentence above might provide some justification) is most regrettable.

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