The European Commission keeps sending us surprises. After December’s Communication on Modernizing Copyright, which contained a mixed bag of copyright goodies, we had expected just about anything but the announcement that followed on March 23rd. The European Commission has launched a public open consultation on ‘the possible extension’ of neighbouring rights to publishers. As we…

Besides tulips, cheese, football and other recreational matters, the Netherlands are famous for its copyright protection of non-original writings. Geschriftenbescherming, as the Dutch call this legal anomaly (and only they know how to pronounce it), is a remnant of an ancient eighteenth-century printer’s right that lives on until this day in the Dutch Copyright Act…

The European Copyright Society, a group of prominent European scholars, today issued an opinion on the Svensson case (Case C-466/12), which is currently before the European Court of Justice. The case, which was referred to the Court by the Swedish Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) on 18 October 2012, raises the important question whether setting…

On September 23, 1912, the Dutch Copyright Act – Auteurswet – was enacted. A century after its enactment the Dutch law is one of the world’s oldest ‘living’ acts of the author’s rights tradition. While the Act has seen many small and large amendments since its adoption in 1912, it has never been thoroughly revised,…

On May 22 of this year Directive 2001/29/EC was exactly 10 years old – a birthday largely gone unnoticed. The ‘Copyright Directive’ or ‘Information Society Directive’ (for experts: ‘InfoSoc Directive’) marked an important stage in the process of harmonization of copyright and related rights in the European Union. In contrast to earlier directives that dealt…

In its groundbreaking judgment of 4 October 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union has essentially legalized the import, sale and use of foreign satellite television decoder cards. The judgment, which was given in two joined (originally British) cases, concerned decoder cards that provide access to encrypted satellite transmissions from Greece of British…

Bad news from Denmark. According to an official press release, the Danish government has changed its position and now endorses the European Commission’s proposal to extend the term of protection for sound recordings. Since Denmark was part of a fragile blocking minority in the European Council, there is a danger now that the EU Presidency…

The football leagues in Europe seem to be on a losing streak in Luxembourg. On February 17 the European Court of Justice pronounced that Member States may reserve television coverage of FIFA World Cup events to free-to-air public broadcasters, on the basis of nationally drawn-up lists of ‘events of major importance’, as defined in the…