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Poll Results on the Orphan Works Directive and Extended Collective Licensing

blog-poll-1---200PX“The results are just about as astonishing as the number of people who participated.”

In our first Kluwer Blog Poll, we asked for your reaction to the two following statements regarding the implementation of Directive 2012/28/EC on certain permitted uses of orphan works:

1) whether the Directive would significantly facilitate the mass-digitization efforts of cultural heritage institutions in daily practice; and
2) whether a system of extended collective licensing would provide the most workable solution to the problems of mass-digitization.

The results are just about as astonishing as the number of people who participated in this first edition of the poll: 2076 readers cast their reaction on [...]

First Blog Poll: Orphan works and cultural heritage institutions

blog-poll-1---200PXA relatively new feature on the different Kluwer Legal Blogs (e.g. the KluwerPatentBlog and the KluwerArbitrationBlog) is the so-called legal Blog Poll.

Not only because it is always nice to hear what the communis opinio is about recent developments in jurisprudence and legislative procedures or about new or revived theories and ideas, but also to initiate or to stir a discussion.

You will find our first poll below and in the right column of this site. If you want, you can attach your name to your survey answers. If you want the result to be anonymous, just leave out your name and email address. If you have additional comments, you can either mail them to us or leave them in the comment sect [...]

Private copying levy: The aftershocks of Padawan

thuiskopie“”The difficulty also lies in the fact that (to our knowledge) no levy system within the EU provided before Padawan for such a distinction and that the structure of the payment system did/does not lend itself easily to making such a distinction.”

There’s nothing wrong with a private copying levy, the CJEU decided in SGAE/Padawan, but “the indiscriminate application of the private copying levy to all types of digital reproduction equipment, devices and media, including cases in which such equipment is acquired by persons other than natural persons for purposes clearly unrelated to private copying, is incompatible with the directive.”

An interesting refinement of a controversial legal d [...]

Playing Catch 22 with the Public Domain

Goethe-BouquetPlaying Catch 22 with cultural heritage is quite simple: since cultural heritage institutions hardly ever are in a position to digitize their collection because of a lack of financial resources, they obtain funding on the basis of public/private partnerships.

Chances are that in return for the financial support needed for digitization, the private party will seek to retain exclusivity over the digitized objects and to impose restrictions on their further reproduction and making available to the public. The result: the collection is certainly digitized, but the public’s expectation of being able to freely re-use digitized works remains frustrated for as long as the private party has decided.

[...]

To register or not to register?

On 27 September, the Dutch government introduced what at first glance would seem an inconsequential proposal, e.g. to amend the Register Act of 1970 whereby the possibility for legal and natural persons to register their copyright protected work at the tax office will be eliminated. Should the Dutch proposal be adopted, the registration of private deeds will be limited to those acts concerning subject matter for which registration is a legal formality.

The reasoning behind this proposal is that a deed that witnesses an agreement between two parties has probative force between the parties whether the deed is registered or not. Registration of a work or an invention offers no independent cop [...]

Are European orphans about to be freed?
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. It’s been commented and reported by many.

The proposed directive is striking in many respects. Most prominent is the virtually unanimous opinion that the directive ‘is a step in the right direction’, but that it ‘will not facilitate nor promote mass digitization and large-scale preservation of Europe’s vast cultural heritage’. This conjures up the image of the elephant giving birth to a [...]

France solves its XXe century book problem!

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 to the Proposal, France is the first country in the world to put in place a modern and efficient mechanism to regulate the use of unavailable works, which forms today’s biggest obstacle to the digitization of cultural heritage. The French solution is presented as offering a response to the rejected Google settlement in the United States.

W [...]

Cultural heritage institutions concerned over proposed European orphan works directive

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 stakeholders watch out against any measure possibly affecting their respective interests.

Already since the beginning of this year, the Danish Presidency has published two revised compromise proposals, one on 6 January and the second one on 10 February 2012. The last proposal was followed by a Presidency non-paper on a possible single database for orphan works for [...]

The hangover after Public Domain Day…

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 than not met with a ‘no’ for an answer!). No one needs to be afraid of using the works of Virginia Woolf any longer! And the fans of Arsène Lupin, the French ‘gentleman burglar’, are now able to borrow – for good! – the ideas of its author, Maurice Leblanc. The works of several music composers are also free for reuse, including those of Frank Bridge and Jo [...]

Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

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 best achieve it. The Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest brought together scholars, policymakers, and policy advocates to discuss and to deliberate about the opportunities for constructing a positive policy and research agenda.

The result: a resounding Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property [...]

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