This post is about a rare mixture of folly and incompetence that is fortunately unlikely to leave any durable traces on the face of copyright law in Europe. However, the utter absurdity of the matter does not deprive it of its current (and hopefully only current) practical significance in Poland. For readers from outside Poland it may even be entertaining (for Poles, I am afraid, not so much).
The ingredients of all this are: (a) good intentions (b) dismal quality of legislation and (c) incompetence of a major public body [...]
The Polish Ministry of Administration and Digitisation has initiated discussion on the law providing free access to public resources.
The Ministry has made available on its webpage a document entitled “Draft Guidelines for the Proposal of the Act on Open Public Resources” and has invited interested parties to comment. Thus a process of “open access by law” has begun. It has been long thought that public resources of various kinds should be, when possible, made available on the internet for free along the motto: what has been paid for by public money is public property. Usually such initiatives have been voluntary and have thus relied on either good will or political pressure. Now, ho [...]
Friday, October 12th 2012 was packed with action in the Polish Parliament (Sejm), because on that day the prime minister subject his government to the vote of confidence and delivered a speech explaining his plans and endeavours for the next three years. The turnout in the often empty house was therefore extraordinary.
Amid this political turmoil (in fact just after the Parliament gave its vote of confidence to the government) the Sejm passed almost unanimously a resolution declaring the proposal for a directive on collective rights managemen [...]
“With a bit of pathos one may say that the CJEU has restored the old exhaustion principle to its full glory in the digital age. In order to do so the Court did not hesitate to be adventurous with legal interpretation and has also opened new fields for discussion.”
On July 3 the CJEU delivered its judgement in the UsedSoft case concerning the question that according to the recital 29 of the 2001/29 directive “does not arise”, i.e. the question about ‘online exhaustion’. When it, however, arose and when the CJEU answered it, there are only bits and pieces of the traditional copyright wisdom to be collected and discarded. Not so long ago I reported the Advocate General’s opinion in th [...]
On April 24, 2012 the Advocate General Yves Bot delivered his opinion in the UsedSoft case (C-128/11) concerning exhaustion in digital products that have not been distributed on a material carrier.
I think this may be one of the more interesting and bold opinions in the area of copyright law, although I am aware the competition is stiff. Should the Court accept the AG’s views this may even be a small forerunner of important changes in how copyright law adapts itself to the internet era.
The questions asked by the Bundesgerichtshof were :
1. Is the person who can rely on exhaustion of the right to distribute a copy of a computer program a ‘lawful acquirer’ within the meaning of Article 5(1) [...]
The clouds of dust raised by the turbulent discussion about ACTA in Poland seem to be slowly settling and the time has come to make some evaluations. What has happened with ACTA in Poland has surely caught the attention of the world (or at least Europe), but perhaps the scale of it is still underestimated. When word got out that ACTA was to be signed by the Polish government only IP specialists knew what it was. Nevertheless, in a very short time the Polish internet started buzzing and a moment later exploded in fury. Government internet sites suffered from hackers’ attacks and students (true story!) requested if they could skip class and demonstrate against ACTA. All this time the informa [...]
One may sometimes get the impression that competition law and consumer protection law can shed new light on any other regulation of a legal system, no matter how well established. An interesting example of this trend has been provided by a recent decision of the Polish Court for the Protection of Competition and Consumers in a case concerning unfair contract terms applied by a library (judgment of December 9, 2011, XVII Amc 113/11).
It seems interesting to report it here because it combines several copyright related issues and may be generally relevant for contractual restrictions concerning copyright exceptions. Before going into the details, it is, however, necessary to set an outline of t [...]
There are many interesting ways one may become a co-author of a copyright work, but in one of its recent decisions the Polish Supreme Court seems to have added a new and quite interesting option. You can namely become a co-author if you delete a few sentences from a scientific article, sentences you believe are factually incorrect.
The court’s decision was made based on the following facts: The defendant wrote an article about music therapy, i.e. applying music in medical treatment. Not being a physician herself, the author had requested three colleagues to verify the article and, as a result, they suggested deleting some parts, which, in their view, were not compatible with accepted medic [...]
One of the recent judgements of the Polish Supreme Court provides a good opportunity to review the basic rules applying to copyright contracts in Poland. The Polish copyright law treats copyright contracts in a rather strict and formal way. It specifically states that both assignment and license contracts only cover the co-called fields of exploitation of copyright works (i.e. uses of works economically and/or technically independent) that have been explicitly named in the contract itself. If a contract does not name a field of exploitation, no assignment or license with regard to the omitted kind of use may take place. This rule seeks to protect authors, making them aware of the scope of th [...]
The commented decision may at first glance appear to be of limited importance only, but after closer examination it contains two interesting points of more general significance.
The basic facts are the following: the plaintiff, a collecting society ZAIKS, brought a claim against two companies demanding payment for selling copies of the film “Rejs” (“Cruise”), which was bundled with a monthly “Cztery Kąty” (i.e. a disc with the movie was sold as a bonus with the magazine). One might add that the movie “Rejs” is a cult movie in Poland, many expressions and dialogues from it having entered the everyday language, but in this case it did not matter at all.
Polish copyright law pr [...]