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Private copy levies on multipurpose electronic devices?

An Italian administrative court says yes.

Directive 29/2001/EC on copyright and related rights in the information society introduced the principle that EU Member States may authorize individuals to make copies of copyrighted audio, visual and audio-visual works, for private use, without the need to request authorization to right holders, subject to the general condition that right holders receive a “fair compensation” for such use of their works.

Indeed, making a copy of protected works without the authorisation of the authors, although for private and not for commercial use, is considered an act of interference with the exclusive reproduction right of the right holder, which triggers th [...]

Music broadcasting at the dentist’s and in hotel rooms. CJEU clarifies “communication to the public”

On 15 March 2012 the CJEU has ruled two cases where it had been asked to decide whether producers of phonograms (or the collecting society on their behalf) are entitled to obtain equitable remuneration when a user allows its clients to hear the phonogram by way of background music in a place subject to his control.

The first case, referred by the Court of Appeal of Turin (Italy), involved Società Consortile Fonografici (SCF), the Italian society that collects and distributes to artists and phonogram producers the royalties for the use in public of recorded music, and Mr. Marco Del Corso, a dentist who used to broadcast background music from the radio in the waiting room of his private denta [...]

Hosting providers: passive vs. active

We are experiencing a new trend by Italian first instance courts in addressing the issue of liability of hosting providers for contents posted by users in copyright infringement cases. The new approach is likely to impose providers of video sharing platforms (such as YouTube, Dailymotion and others) dramatic changes in their model of business, with relevant consequences for the whole information society.

In recent judgments, courts have in fact elaborated the theory that the provision contained in art. 14 of the E-Commerce Directive that exempts hosting providers from liability in case of unlawful activities carried out by the users of their service, applies only to “passive” hosting provide [...]

No more dance for Baila!

The Tribunal of Rome has rejected the appeal brought by Reti Televisive Italiane (RTI, Mediaset Group) and Endemol, respectively the broadcaster and the producer of the Mediaset TV program “Baila!”, against the first instance decision in the urgent proceeding for provisional measures of the same court, holding that the program was an unauthorized copy of the popular – and previous in time – TV program “Ballando con le Stelle” (Translation: “Dancing with the Stars” ) of the national TV broadcaster, RAI.

The case started the beginning of September. Media reported that in the claim for provisional measures against RTI and Endemol, the popular show presenter of Ballando con le Stelle ( [...]

Draft regulation for the protection of copyright on electronic communications networks

On July 6, 2011 the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) approved the “Draft regulation regarding copyright protection on the electronic communications networks”, currently subject to a 60-day public consultation.

As mentioned in my previous posts, AGCOM’s proposal of new rules for the protection of copyright in Internet and audiovisual media services was heavily criticized because of its ambiguities and the doubt that it could pass muster of constitutionality. Unfortunately, it appears that the draft regulation just approved by AGCOM does not completely solve the problems that have been raised in these months.

It is true that the AGCOM has made an effort to try to clarify and simplify [...]

Lying on a copyrightable chaise longue?

The saga of copyright protection of industrial design works continues.

Historically, Italian courts had been very reluctant to recognize copyright protection to industrial design works due to a provision (now abrogated) contained in the Copyright Law that clearly excluded copyrightability of creative works whereas the artistic value of the work was not separable from the industrial nature of the product (for example, on this basis, a Supreme Court decision in 1994 had denied copyright protection to the famous chaise longue by master LeCorbusier).

The approach radically changed with the implementation of Directive 71/98/EC in Italy, that introduced art. 2 n. 10) of the Copyright Law, recogniz [...]

First reactions to the Communications Authority proposal

The Communications Authority proposal to have a leading role in the protection of copyright on electronic communication networks (as explained in its Resolution 668/10/CONS commented in the previous post) has provoked opposite reactions from copyright owners on one side and supporters of major ISPs on the other side.

The Italian federation for the protection against audiovisual piracy, which represents the interests of copyright owners, welcomes the initiative of the Communication Authority as one that aims at promoting measures to facilitate the legal offer of accessible content to the users and that provides enforcement actions for the rapid removal of content posted in violation of copyri [...]

Online copyright infringement: is the Communications Authority going too far?

Italy is currently being interested by an intense querelle about the role of the Communications Authority (“Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni”) in the enforcement of the provisions of Law n. 633/1941 (“Copyright Law”) with respect to users’ unauthorized posting of copyrighted contents online.

The debate has become particularly hot after the Communications Authority has issued Resolution 668/10/CONS proposing the enactment of a regulation concerning the exercise by the same authority of powers in the protection of copyright on electronic communication networks. The document is currently under public consultation.

The Communications Authority finds its competence for regulating t [...]

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