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The Netherlands: Photo on YouTube Channel, Court of Appeal of ‘s Hertogenbosch, ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:284, IEF 11605 and ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:2524, IEF 14082, 29 July 2014

This case in the Court of Appeal of ‘s-Hertogenbosch concerned the use of a photograph of a photo model by two rappers in one of their music videos. The video was uploaded to YouTube after which it was disseminated via their own website’s homepage and their YouTube Channel. Although the rappers were authorised to do so by the photo model in question, they did not have the consent of the photographer, i.e. the rightholder. Consequently, the photographer brought suit against the two rappers on the basis of copyright infringement.

In order to estimate her damages, the photographer provided the Court with an indicative rates list for photography assignments. Although the Court found t [...]

Portugal: Tryptic Shop Deco, Supreme Court of Justice of Portugal, 3952/08.9TJVNF.P1.S1, 17 December 2014

The Supreme Court held that pictures of tryptic paintings, as copyrightable artistic works, cannot be used as decoration of shops and on online catalogues without the authorisation of the owner of the copyright in those paintings.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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UK: John Kaldor Fabricmaker v. Lee Ann Fashions, High Court of England and Wales, Chancery Division, [2014] EWHC 3779 (IPEC), 21 November 2014

A claim for infringement of copyright and design rights failed. There was no good reason to reject evidence that the fabric in question was created without sight of the claimant’s fabric; the similarities between the designs were not sufficient to infer that there had been subconscious copying.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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Chesterton’s work still alive in Spain

Patricia MariscalA recent judgment by the Spanish Supreme Court draws a line under the legal dispute between the heirs of the British writer G. K. Chesterton and a Spanish publishing house concerning the term of protection applicable to the former’s works in Spain. The judgment declares that Chesterton’s works, just like those of any national or foreign author who had died whilst the Spanish Act of 1879 was in force, are protected in Spain for a period of 80 years post mortem auctoris. 

Protection of G. K. Chesterton’s works in Spain for a period of 80 years would not be quite so startling if it were not for the fact that in the United Kingdom, the writer’s country of origin, the rights in those wor [...]

Bulgaria: Commercial case No. 3824 of 2014, Court of Appeal of Sofia, 478, 11 March 2015

In this case, the Court of Appeal was required to determine the amount of damages payable when the fact of infringement was ascertained but there was insufficient evidence on the total amount of damages incurred.  The court held that the circumstances related to the type, nature and gravity of the infringement, the lost profit, any moral damages incurred and the revenue gained as a result of the infringement should all be taken into account, in accordance with the equity principle.

In this case, which concerned copyright infringement through the publication of two photographs in two issues of a daily newspaper, the court took into account the following: the significant circulation of t [...]

Popcorn Time – a website blocking order decision with a slightly different flavour

Blum_Jeremy2Another blocking order in the UK, however, this time there was some complexity about the actual acts of infringement. In Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & Ors v Sky UK Ltd & Ors, the High Court considered the circumstances in which website blocking orders should be granted against websites facilitating the use of a “sophisticated and user friendly” application known as Popcorn Time, which uses the BitTorrent protocol to obtain infringing film and TV content from one or more host websites. Although the court ultimately granted the order on the basis of joint tortfeasance, on the particular facts of this application the court did not consider that infringing acts of communication to [...]

Copyright in the new Belgian Code of Economic Law: codification and new regulation

The Belgian legal order has recently welcomed a new legal code:  the Code of Economic Law (CEL).  Laws are not systematically arranged in codes in Belgium: there are some codes (such as the judicial code, the criminal code, codes of various types of taxes etc.) as well as countless separate laws, acts and regulations for its many levels of governance.  Now we have a Code of Economic Law (here in Dutch and in French), which is meant to gather in one volume various regulations pertaining to the field of “economic law”, such as competition law, consumer protection, product and service safety, e-commerce, banking and finance, specific enforcement proceedings, etc.

The Code of Economic La [...]

EU Digital Single Market copyright law: “Impressionist”, but not impressive

RENOIROn May 6th, 2015 the European Commission revealed its eagerly anticipated plans for the EU digital single market. The EU Digital Market strategy, which aims to open up digital opportunities for individuals and businesses and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy, is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; and (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

As far as copyright law is concerned, the EU digital single market initiative has rapidly emerged as a new [...]

Red light for Sabam’s pricing system for Internet access providers: up- and downstream IAP traffic do not constitute communication or making a work available to the public

Rosario-Debilio2On the 13th March 2015, the President of the Brussels French speaking Court of First Instance pronounced a judgment to the detriment of Sabam, an important collective management organisation in Belgium. In 2011 Sabam decided to claim a fee from Internet access providers in exchange for a licence which allows these providers to communicate copyright protected works to the public (see here). I shall first discuss the control on the pricing system set up by Sabam. I shall then study how electronic communication law’s notions were used to define the scope of this pricing system. A final discussion will be dedicated to the rest of the procedure in this case setting the Belgian State against Sab [...]

Blocking Marrakesh: an argument based on a house of cards

Ana-Ramalho Back in April 2014, following the Council’s authorization, the EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (“Marrakesh Treaty”). Under the Treaty, parties are to adopt copyright exceptions to facilitate access to formats of works accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. Countries must moreover provide for the cross-border exchange of accessible-format works.

There were however no less than 7 Member States that considered that the Treaty fell under an area of shared competence between the EU and the Member States. According to the opposing Member State [...]

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