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EAÜ v MTÜ Safari Seiklused: An interesting Estonian case about damages awardable for copyright infringement

Elise-Vasamae-KCBIn its recent judgment in EAÜ v MTÜ Safari Seiklused (the “Safari” case), the Estonian court held that where a person has signed a licence agreement with an authors’ collecting society, with the intention of using the rights of authors commercially for a public performance, they must unquestioningly fulfil all of the terms of that agreement. According to the licence agreement signed between an Estonian concert organiser, MTÜ Safari Seisklused, and the Estonian Authors’ Society (EAÜ) the amount of the licence fee did not depend on how many authors EAÜ in fact represents. Therefore, although in this case EAÜ represented only one author from three whose works were being played publicl [...]

The scope of ‘commercial scale’ in Estonian criminal law

Elise-Vasamae-KCBIn a relatively recent judgement in a criminal case, the Supreme Court of Estonia ruled that that the terms  ‘trade scale’ and  ‘commercial scale’ are not synonymous. The concept ‘commercial scale’ in criminal law cannot be interpreted in such a broad sense as the concept ‘trade scale’.

A. Gubinski allegedly committed a copyright infringement, therewith violating section 222″1 of the Estonian Penal Code. Gubinski argued that did not commit a crime since (i) it had not been proven that the files found in his computer could be regarded as a copyrightable computer program and (ii) that he did not gain profit as a result of possessing the computer program. The prosecutor argued that it was cle [...]

Copyright transfer by accepting general conditions

In its recent judgement in the, the Estonian Supreme Court established that an authors’ agreement for assigning economical copyrights is deemed to be signed when the user of database accepts the general conditions imposed by the database owner.

According to Article 49(1) of the Estonian Copyright Act though, an author’s contract shall be entered into in writing. The grant of a non-exclusive licence may also be made in a format which can be reproduced in writing. The referred Article 49(1) is imperative.

The “Auto24″ database, owned by the plaintiff AS Sanoma Baltics, contains sales advertisements of motor vehicles that are accompanied with corresponding photos made by the us [...]

Presumption of authorship: only natural persons

Estonian Supreme Court, 7 February 2012, Case No3-2-1-155-11,  Herlitz PBS AG vs. Realister OÜ (plaintiff in the prededing proceeding).

The Estonian Supreme Court found in its recent judgement in the Realister case that the presumption of authorship as laid down in the Sections 4(6) and 29(1) of the Estonian Copyright Act (hereinafter referred to as the CA) is only applicable in case the right holder relying on the presumption of authorship is a natural person, who has created the work, not a legal person who has obtained the economical rights under the law or a contract.

In this case the owner of the authors’ economical rights is a legal person that claims to have economical copyrights [...]

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