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lewis onions

I am always loathe to relapse to my professional guise when dealing with Club issues but I note from a number of postings that contributors to the forum are questioning what intellectual property the Club has and the extent to which that property will be protected by the adoption of a closed forum.

I was once privileged to receive a lengthy explanation of what comprises intellectual property from the then Mr Justice Jacobs who was subsequently appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and was in charge of the Court of Appeal’s Intellectual Property List prior to his retirement in 2011. I apologise for name-dropping as well as “getting all legal”.

All organisations of any sort hold intellectual property. That intellectual property need not be trademarks, patents or other legal interests capable of registration. It need not be the names, logos, drawings or written records contributors have mentioned. Intellectual property extends beyond such tangible things, through other tangibles such as an organisation’s telephone numbers and even its addresses or its location, to the very intangible connections and relationships it uses in the continuation of its business, creative expressions, collective knowledge and business and occupational practices, systems and procedures. Anyone considering intellectual property in the round in this way will appreciate that an organisation’s intellectual property is likely to attach to its goodwill and indeed in my posting on 14 March the two properties were mentioned together.

Legalistic though this is, I hope that it goes a little further in explaining the Committee’s decision. What we are concerned with is the essence and well-being of the Club; without being dramatic about it, the very existence of the Club.

And that brings me to my second point. The members of the Committee act at all times in what they consider to be the best interests of the Club as a whole. At the risk of straying into the law again, that is what the members of the Committee are legally required to do.
The members pay subscriptions and contribute to the Club’s overheads. As a consequence the Committee are bound to act so as to maximise the benefits received by the paying members whilst attempting to minimise the costs that the Club and therefore the paying members suffer. To properly discharge their duties to the paying membership the Committee cannot permit the interests of those who are not members to interfere. In such circumstances a service offered free-of-charge to non-members such as the forum is bound to come under inspection.

The suggestions made by contributors to the forum as to the Committee’s motives and their competence also warrant some comment from me. In carrying out their duties for the benefit of the membership the Committee members give freely of their time and quite often contribute financially as well. None of us has any ulterior motive for what we do. We do not have businesses which service Scott owners or otherwise rely on their patronage. We do not moan or complain about our lot, nor are we Luddites, despite what the contributors to the forum might like you to believe.

Above all we are not inward-looking or insular. Any member who has read any of my contributions to Yowl will note that I continually ask for members’ feedback and declare my willingness to engage with members at any opportunity by telephone, email or whatever. The response has always been less than lukewarm to the extent that I have expressed almost desperation. The most recent example is the complete lack of any response via the forum to my request for assistance at Stafford Show.

As has been suggested by contributors, members should consider what it is that they want from the Club and therefore where the Club is headed. If you want the best out of the Club, if you are not satisfied with the way in which it is managed currently or perhaps if you simply have the altruistic spirit of the current members of the Committee, perhaps you should offer to offer to get involved. The alternatives campaigned by some contributors are nothing less than self-indulgent.