• Michael John Freegard

    We are sad to announce the death, on 27 October, 2022 of BLACA Honorary Member

    Michael Freegard. Michael was a founder member and officer of BLACA for many years and an influential presence at ALAI, the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale, of which BLACA is the UK member. We remember Michael with affection and respect, for his work for copyright, for the wisdom and friendship he brought to our association, and his ability to make everything fun, as well as interesting. BLACA Vice-Chairman Brigitte Lindner recalls Michael at ALAI Budapest in 2003, stepping up to act as Master of Ceremonies for the first and only ‘ALAI Evergreen Singers and Orchestra A-Muse’ concert, given by musical members of BLACA and ALAI.


    A fuller appreciation of Michael and his many contributions to copyright, including his role at the Performing Right Society and his book with Jack Black ‘The Decisions of the UK Performing Right and Copyright Tribunal’ (1997), will be posted in due course.


    In the meantime, we extend our sympathies to Chantal and all their family.


    Michael’s funeral and a celebration of his life will take place on Friday 25 November 2022. Here are the details, kindly provided by Michael’s family:


    Funeral & Celebration of Life

    25th November, 2022

    Funeral & Committal

    New Southgate Cemetery & Crematorium
    Brunswick Park Road
    London N11 1JJ

    Time: 12:00 midday

    Note: For those unable to attend in person, a live stream of the funeral will be available to watch at


    User: fugu6323

    Password : 010581


    Following the funeral, a celebration of life for Michael will be held at:

    The West Park Lodge Hotel
    Lancaster Room,
    Cockfosters Road,
    Barnet EN4 OPY

    Time: 1:30 pm

    In lieu of flowers, our father requests that donations be made to:

    Leonard Cheshire

    The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

    Thank you,
    The Freegard Family

    Chantal, Mark, Daniel, Alex, Caroline & Nicola”


    Marybeth Peters, 12 June 1939 - 29 September 2022

    BLACA notes with sadness the passing of Marybeth Peters, former US Register of Copyright and a great contributor to the international understanding of copyright. BLACA members who were present at our ALAI Congress in London in 2009 will remember her particularly, with her insights into digital exhaustion and its effect upon the balances within US copyright. Her  humour and infectious laugh enlivened every event. 

    Proceedings of the London Congress, including Marybeth's paper, were published as Bently, Suthersanen and Torremans' Global copyright : three hundred years since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to cyberspace (2010, Edward Elgar). Marybeth Peters' 2006 report on Orphan Works and other publications are regularly cited in copyright scholarship. She gave important evidence to the US Committee of the Judiciary in 2004 on contributory infringement. We remember Marybeth with respect and affection. An obituary may be found at https://www.copyright.gov/newsnet/2022/981.html 

    London, 4 October 2022
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    All BLACA members will mourn the death of Professor William Cornish, a former Chairman of the Association who was a founder member of BLACA and negotiated the admission of BLACA to membership of ALAI, becoming a member of the ALAI’s Executive Committee and of its Bureau. He remained a lifetime Member of Honour of the Committee. With his death on 8 January 2022, the Intellectual Property Community in the UK has lost its most distinguished academic of the past half century. At his death he was Emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Life Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge, having been Magdalene’s President in 1998/2001.


    Bill Cornish was an inspiration not only to generations of students of IP successively at the London School of Economics where he first started to became interested in the subject (developing a LLM course on intellectual property law while chair of English Law (1970-90)) and in more recent years at Cambridge University. His contributions to legal history included IP, but went far wider. With Prof Gerald Dworkin, he initiated debate on the interplay between IP and private international law.


    At LSE he produced the first editions of his standard text on IP law published by Sweet and Maxwell. That volume is now in its 9th Edition, with David Llewelyn and Tanya Aplin. His pre-eminence in the field was recognised in 1984 when he was made a member of the British Academy.


    On moving to Cambridge in 1990 as Professor of Law, Bill took on the post of Director of the Centre for European Legal Studies (CELS) which he held until 1995. Among his many interests he was appointed an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property in Munich (MPI), where he spent a year on sabbatical in 1978/79. MPI was at the time the powerhouse of research studies in the field of intellectual property in Europe and Bill became editor of the Max Planck periodical International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC).


    In 1995, he was appointed to the newly- established post of the Herchel Smith Professorship of Intellectual Property Law at Cambridge, although he continued to maintain his links to the MPI thereafter. Living and working in Munich from 1991 to 2005 at the European Patent Office, I was fortunate to benefit from his professional advice, support and friendship during his visits there. His links with the MPI reflected his interest in IP in Europe and around the world, illustrated also by his long association with the Warsaw Law Group. Bill was also an active member of the ATRIP, the international association for the Advancement Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property, of which he was President from 1985-1987.


    In 1997, Bill was appointed an Honorary Queen’s Counsel and in 1998 a bencher at Gray’s Inn. These honours were followed in 2013 when he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his work in Poland and other countries.


    The BLACA membership deeply mourns the loss of a brilliant and inspiring colleague who supported and touched so many of our careers and lives. We remember his wife and family in our thoughts.


    Gillian Davies

    17 January 2021


    Pauliina Ketonen (2021 BLACA/Stationers Company bursary recipient) was awarded QMUL LLM in Intellectual Property prize for top marks in the specialisation cohort .


    SEPTEMBER 2020

    We are sad to announce the death on 18 September of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice of the US Supreme Court. Her contributions to copyright, and to principles of equality, have been effective and fearless. Sympathies to her family and especially to her daughter, Prof Jane Ginsburg, member of the ALAI Bureau and copyright scholar.


    JANUARY 2020

    BLACA is pleased to announce the results of the Bursary awards for 2019 ,the fourth year that these awards have been made.


    There are two recipients: Olivia Jean-Baptiste and Jake Campbell.

    Olivia Jean-Baptiste is studying for the LLM at Queen Mary University of London

    Jake Campbell is studying for the LLM at King’s College London

    There will be an awards ceremony at Stationers’ Hall on Monday 13 th January 2020. We offer both receipients our very warm congratulations.