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EU Digital Single Market copyright law: “Impressionist”, but not impressive

RENOIROn May 6th, 2015 the European Commission revealed its eagerly anticipated plans for the EU digital single market. The EU Digital Market strategy, which aims to open up digital opportunities for individuals and businesses and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy, is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; and (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

As far as copyright law is concerned, the EU digital single market initiative has rapidly emerged as a new [...]

Ryanair Ltd v. PR Aviation BV: contracts, rights and users in a “low cost” database law

RENOIRThe CJEU’s interpretative work on copyright law issues launched in 2015 with the decision of 15 January in the case of Ryanair Ltd v PR Aviation BV (Case C30/14). The Ryanair ruling is the latest stone added to the complex edifice of legal protection of databases in Europe.

PR Aviation operates a website which allows consumers to search through the flight data of low-cost air companies. It obtains the necessary data to respond to an individual query by automated means, inter alia, from a dataset linked to the Ryanair website.  Access to Ryanair’s website presupposes that a visitor to the site accepts the application of the air company’s general terms and conditions by ticking a box [...]

European Copyright Law : Quo vadis? The European Commission asks for your opinion

Tatiana-Sinodinou“The first question (territoriality) and the last question (single EU copyright title) could be considered as the alpha and the omega of the questionnaire and they are interlinked in various ways.”

A public consultation on the review of EU copyright rules was launched by the European Commission a few  days ago .  The consultation refers to key issues of copyright law in the digital environment which have been identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market, such as “territoriality in the Internal Market, harmonization, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age, fragmentation of the EU copyright market and how to improve the effectiveness and effic [...]

On copyright and rights of persons with disabilities: WIPO treaty for the blind

Tatiana-Sinodinou“The road to Marrakesh is open but is not paved with roses and the outcome of the negotiations is awaited with both hope and reservations. “

While some statistics demonstrate that only about 5% of all published books are available in accessible formats for print disabled people globally, 2013 promises to be a landmark year in the combat against this scarcity of reading sources for visually impaired people. A scarcity that is often referred to as ‘book famine’.

On April, 20, 2013 the Informal Session and Special Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is expected to have prepared a revised and maybe final version of the draft text of a Treaty to F [...]

A Greek premiere: Greek ISPs ordered to block access to infringing websites

“This finding could have been considered predictable, if it wasn’t for  a special provision in the Greek Constitution that safeguards participation in the information society.”

Is obliging ISPs to cut off internet access to specific copyright infringing websites compatible with the Greek Constitution? That is one of the main questions that were answered by the ruling of the District Court of Athens of May 16th, 2012.

Even if it is just a response in a demand for injunctions, this decision is important for two reasons. First, it places Greek jurisdiction among other jurisdictions that decided to impose specific technological measures on  a website that hosts or offers copyright infrin [...]

Decrypting the code: CJEU SAS vs. World Programming

“The ruling confirms the exclusion of ideas from software copyright protection and enlightens certain grey zones of the Software Directive.”

The protection of computer programs is one of the nicest paradoxes of copyright law. Even if the protection of the computer programs as literary works has been established in the European and in the international legal order (Software Directive 91/250, codified by 2009/24, TRIPS), it is still strange to observe that a computer program which proposes travel packages is granted the same type and duration of protection as the most captivating literary edifices of our century. Even stranger is to realize that even though computer programs are by their [...]

European Commission: two new IP-roadmaps

What would be the ingredients of a magic formula for better IPR enforcement on the Internet? Has the time come for a horizontal harmonization for notifying and acting on illegal on line content? In a period where the ratification of ACTA is ranked highly in the political agenda of European governments, the European Commission is willing to pose the first bricks for the construction of a more effective policy for IPR enforcement and regulating illegal content. While the outcome cannot be predicted, it can be easily advanced that the task will not be an easy one.

This policy is briefly explained by two new roadmaps (the “Proposal for a Revision of the Directive of Intellectual Property Right [...]

Databases: sui generis protection and copyright protection

Data creation, intellectual creation and creativity in the world of databases: The Advocate’s General Opinion in the Football Dataco Ltd v. Yahoo! Uk Limited Case and its potential impact in database copyright.

What is a database? Are database copyright protection and database sui generis protection completely independent?  What is the creativity level for asserting that the selection of the disposition of a database contents is the «author’s own intellectual creation» or is creativity not a prerequisite for database copyright protection? Fifteen years after the adoption of the Database Directive, this odd creature in the copyright world, these questions are far from being resolved. E [...]

WIPO International Performer’s Right’s Treaty revived

11 years have passed since the last attempt of WIPO to promote an Audiovisual Performance Treaty which would bring the performer’s protection to meet the challenges of the digital era. The path to the adoption of such a Treaty seems to be prima facie open after the WIPO’s General Assembly Decision of 30th of September to work towards convening a diplomatic conference for the signature of a Treaty. The diplomatic conference will be convened in 2012 and will continue the work of the meeting in 2000.
In 2000, discussions on a draft WIPO Treaty on performers’ rights which largely reflected the provisions of the WPPT made noteworthy progress. Indeed, provisional agreement on 19 of the 20 ar [...]

ECJ: Private copying levies II-the Stichting de Thuiskopie v. Opus Supplies Deutschland GmbH case

On 16 June 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union gave judgment in Case C-462/09, Stichting de Thuiskopie v. Opus Supplies Deutschland GmbH, Mijndert van der Lee and Hananja van der Lee (case C 462/09), a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (the Dutch Supreme Court). As in the Padawan case, to which the ECJ decision made a lot of references, the preliminary questions concerned the payment of fair compensation due for the application of the private copying exception and especially the modalities of payment of the private copy levies.
The Netherlands have introduced a scheme of private copying levies which have to be paid either by the manufacturer of [...]

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