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Report by the US Copyright Office on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

J AxhamnOn June 4th, the US Copyright Office published a report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. The report addresses two situations where the current US copyright system may not fulfill its aim to “promote the Progress of Science”: orphan works and mass-digitization. As regards orphan works, the Office notes that a user’s ability to seek permission or to negotiate licensing terms is compromised by the fact that, despite his or her diligent efforts, the user cannot identify or locate the copyright owner. As regards mass digitization – which involves making reproductions of many works, as well as possible efforts to make the works publicly accessible – the Office observes that obtaini [...]

Trilogue agreement on the Orphan Works Directive

Literary works, photos, films and music and other items that constitute our common cultural heritage are stored in the collections of cultural institutions, such as publicly accessible libraries, museums and archives. Many of these items are still protected by copyright, but their right holders cannot be identified or located – i.e. the works are so-called “orphan works”. This leads to a situation where cultural institutions that strive to digitize and make the parts of their collections still “in copyright” available via the internet risk being sued for infringement if the rightholders should reappear. This may cause many cultural institutions to refrain from digitizing and making ava [...]

Copyright in a Borderless Online Environment

Copyright law has developed in close connection with technological evolution. This is particularly true of digital technologies, especially the Internet, which, since the mid-1990s, has generated both vast opportunities and enormous challenges for the copyright system. Geographical distance is no longer an obstacle to the dissemination of works, which can now take place at virtually no cost. This has provided creators and their commercial partners with new means to exploit their rights, and it has opened the door to new forms of infringement, some of which have proved difficult to combat. To a large extent these opportunities and challenges relate to the territorial nature of copyright appli [...]

CJEU defends (fundamental) right of civil enforcement against online infringers

“One could say that the CJEU by its decision in the Bonnier-case has “defended” or “safeguarded” the right of civil enforcement by right holders against direct online infringers.”

As with enforcement of rights in the analogue environment, enforcement of copyright online presupposes that the infringer is identified or that an intermediary takes action. However, it can often be difficult to identify the infringer, for example as regards so-called (illegal) file sharers. The only information related to the alleged infringer which is normally known to the right holder is the IP number – related to a specific internet connection (subscription) – used by the alleged infringer at the time [...]

Infopaq II – The CJEU elucidates some aspects of the exemption for certain acts of temporary reproduction

This entry deals with some aspects of the decision by order by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-302/10 (Infopaq II) on 17 January.

The reference for a preliminary ruling was brought to the CJEU by the Danish Supreme Court and concerns the interpretation of Article 5(1) and 5(5) of Directive 2001/29/EC (the so-called Infosoc directive). The reference was made in the context of proceedings between Infopaq – a company operating a media monitoring and analysis business – and Danske Dagblades Forening (DDF) – an association of Danish daily newspaper publishers. In the national case Infopaq had sought a declaration that it was not required to obtain the consent of [...]

The missionary church of kopimism

It has been brought to attention, by traditional media and by bloggers, that the Missionary Church of Kopimism (pronounced “copy me-ism”) has recently been recognized as a religious organization by Sweden’s Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet). The registration has made Sweden the first country to recognize Kopimism as a religion. According to its website the Church of Kopimism is a religious group centered in Sweden, which believe that copying and the sharing of information are the best and the most beautiful that is. The number of members of the Church is about 3000.

The Church does not directly promote illegal file sharing, focusing instead on the open [...]

European MoU on Key Principles on the Digitisation and Making Available of Out-of-Commerce Works

In the presence of Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday between European libraries, publishers, authors, and their collecting societies. The MoU comprises a set of key principles that will give European libraries and similar cultural institutions the possibility to digitize and make available on line out-of-commerce books and learned journals which are part of their collections. The principles are not legally binding but rather operate as a facilitator to encourage and underpin voluntary licensing agreements between the said parties.

The MoU stems from the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe [...]

No longer a blocking minority against extending the term of protection for certain related rights

As highlighted in a previous post by one of my fellow Kluwer Copyright bloggers, and others, a proposal by the European Commission for a directive on an extension of the term of protection for fixations of performances and for phonograms to 70 years after the recording (from current 50 years) has recently been brought back on the agenda of the European Council. At a meeting of the permanent representatives (COREPER) on 7 September, the proposal was agreed upon by a large enough votes by the Member States. The proposal has previously been approved by the European Parliament.

Previous attempts to move forward with a vote has effectively been postponed by the fact that a blocking minority of th [...]

US Memorandum of Understanding on fight against online piracy

In a recently announced Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with music and film industry associations, U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to take voluntary action against online piracy. In essence, the MoU establishes a multi-stage model (“graduated response”) that begins with email alerts, and which may end up with bandwidth reductions or limitations in web accessibility. The model does not, however, include a possibility to shut down an internet connection. The model includes safeguards for the holder of the internet connection that is claimed to be used in carrying out the unlawful activities. According to the MoU, the parties jointly establish an organization, Center for Co [...]

Danish initiative to strengthen the enforcement of copyright on the Internet

A Committe set up by the Danish Government has recently proposed concrete initiatives to strengthen the enforcement of copyright on the Internet.

The Committee identified four primary focus areas: enforcement of copyright on the Internet, legal business models, increased consumer awareness and sending information letters. In addition, the Committe rejects so-called compensation models according to which file sharing of copyright content without consent would have been legalised in exchange for a compensation scheme. The Committe rejects such proposal for the very reason that it would contravene international conventions and EU directives in the filed of copyright.

The proposals put forward b [...]

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