Last week, the European Parliament approved the draft Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works. The approval of the Council of Ministers is expected to occur shortly. This is big news indeed, for it’s the first draft directive in the area of copyright law to make it this far in more than 10 years….

Without much noise, France recently adopted Act Nr. 2012-287 of 1st March 2012 relating to the digital exploitation of unavailable books of the 20th century. Contrary to past initiatives from the French lawmaker, the Act does not relate to orphan works, but rather to out-of-commerce works. Or, more precisely: books. According to the explanatory memorandum…

The Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works, introduced in the European Parliament on 24 May 2011, has been following its merry way through the legislative meanders ever since. The debates around the text of the proposal are heating up right now, for the European Commission pushes for rapid adoption while…

The New Year’s festivities are just behind us and with these the celebrations around Public Domain Day 2012 that took place in different cities in and outside Europe (Warsaw, Zurich, Turin, Rome, Haifa etc.). 2012 brings with it the joy of using James Joyce’s masterpieces without asking the estate for prior authorization (which more often…

The global intellectual property landscape has witnessed important changes in recent years. Most notably, the public interest dimension of intellectual property has emerged as a paramount concern. Though there seems to be a fairly broad agreement on the need for a more balanced intellectual property system which effectively promotes innovation, views diverge on how to…

The summer is no longer quiet for the communications departments of most public sector organizations across the Netherlands! The age long practice of circulating hard copies of newspaper clippings among the employees of an organization is seriously compromised following a decision of the Court of appeal of Leeuwarden. On 13 July, the Court ruled that…

On April 11, 2011, the Dutch secretary of state, Fred Teeven, sent his long awaited ‘Priorities Letter Copyright 20@20 ” to the House of Representatives. Among the priorities mentioned, is ‘the promotion and protection of new business models on the Internet through a bill to combat infringing websites and facilitating a re-evaluation of the private…

Discussions around a fair use defence are not new in The Netherlands. Already in the years immediately following the adoption of the EU Copyright Directive, the idea of introducing a fair use defence in the Dutch Copyright Act had given rise to heated debate, at least in the literature. The debate recently resurged when the…