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Update on the UK Private Copying Exception

Blum_Jeremy2We reported here last month that the private copying exception, which took effect on 1 October 2014 as s.28B of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, was declared unlawful by the High Court. The court found that the evidence relied on by the government in order to introduce the exception without also providing a means of “fair compensation” to rights holders was flawed.

In a follow-up judgment, available here, the High Court formally quashed the regulations which created the private copying exception following further submissions from the parties.

Perhaps surprisingly, the regulation was quashed with the agreement of the UK government. The Secretary of State stated that the government [...]

Poland: Appropriate remuneration for an author, Court of Appeal of Kraków, I ACa 1420/14, 30 December 2014

In determining the amount of remuneration that an author might obtain for the copyright in his photographs, it was necessary to determine the remuneration that he would have received if the person who violated his rights had entered into an agreement with the author concerning the use of the work. Such a determination should be based on the remuneration rates in the photography market, taking into account the quality and the possible usage of these photos.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Poland: Derived work, Supreme Court of Poland, I CNP 10/14, 14 November 2014

The Supreme Court held that it is a matter of fact, not law, whether a work created from fragments of another work is a derivative work (according to Article 2 of the Copyright Act) or another kind of non-independently created work. Therefore this type of issue cannot be debated in an action for determining the lawfulness of the court’s judgment. The Supreme Court likewise acknowledged the legality of the appeal court’s views with regard to the applicability of Article 78(2) of the Copyright Act, rather than Article 445 §3 of the Civil Code, in cases where damages are sought after the author’s death. Although this legal issue is questionable in the Polish literature, the Supreme Court recog [...]

Bulgaria: Commercial case No.199 of 2014, Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria, 218, 16 June 2015

The time at which extraction from an electronic database takes place is the time at which the materials being extracted are placed on a medium other than that of the original database, independently of whether they are placed there permanently or temporarily (Case 545/07, Apis Hristovih EOOD v. Lakorda AD, paragraph 45). The time of extraction is essential for civil proceedings for infringement of database rights and the burden to prove this specific moment lies with the claimant (in addition to proving the fact of infringement). In proceedings for infringement of database rights the content of the respective databases should be compared as at the time of claimed extraction.

Where the claima [...]

The Netherlands: Rubik v. Beckx Trading, Supreme Court of the Netherlands, ECLI:NL:HR:2014:2737, 19 September 2014

Erno Rubik, creator of the famous Rubik’s Cube, brought suit against a Dutch enterprise that trades in gift articles, including the so-called ‘Magic Cube’, which strongly resembles Rubik’s own ‘Rubik’s Cube’. Prior to the Supreme Court proceedings, the Arnhem Court of Appeals ruled that the (combination of) the Rubik’s Cube’s characteristic six colours was considered to meet the ‘own intellectual creation’ threshold needed for copyright protection. However, the Rubik’s Cube as such – abstracted from its colours – did not meet this standard, as the characteristic elements of the Rubik’s Cube merely serve a technical function, precluding it from being protectable by cop [...]

Performers’ Rights and the Performance Right: A Constitutionally Confusing Conflation of Constructs

halpern_env-page-001The bizarre saga known as Garcia v. Google has finally come to end with an eleven judge en banc decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Garcia v. Google, Inc., 786 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015)). That holding came in response to a remarkable, if not astonishing holding by a two to one majority of a Ninth Circuit panel. The en banc hearing, and its result, overturning the panel majority, was not at all surprising. The issue, however, was disturbing enough to have generated  the filing of thirteen different amici curiae briefs on behalf of more than forty different purported amici.

While the end result was fully anticipated the case itself raises significant issues a [...]

Private Copying, an Institution Shaped by the Courts

Pablo HernandezThe progressive breakdown of the legal system regulating compensatory remuneration for private copying has given rise to some unusual cases.  We consider this to be true of a Spanish Supreme Court judgment of 6 March 2015 which had to rule on whether mobile telephones and memory cards were subject to compensatory remuneration payment, the amount of that payment and the application of the Padawan doctrine.  The legislation on which the court was to base its findings was shaky and limited to the general principle governing devices suitable for making recordings.  In view of this, the court had to decide on the royalty payable and the Padawan effect on such devices where the damages exceeded [...]

UK Private Copying Exception ruled illegal

Savvides_TheoIn October 2014 the government introduced a series of changes to the UK’s copyright regime. One change, key to the objective of making copyright law better suited to the digital age, was the introduction of a private copying exception. That exception is now in jeopardy following a successful challenge by the music industry. For the exception to survive ,the government will either have to introduce some form of compensation scheme, or produce evidence which supports its initial conclusion that private copying will cause no more than de minimis harm to copyright owners.

Background

On 1 October 2014, a number of changes were made to the UK copyright regime in the form of new exceptions to c [...]

Italy: Riccardo Pagani v. Leo Burnett Company S.r.l., Ordinary Court of Turin, 32855/2014, 31 March 2015

The Court of Turin held that the main idea for a finished work (a TV commercial for the FIAT 500) had been developed in an initial project carried out by the claimant and that this project was the basis for the subsequent authors’ work.  Consequently, the commercial was evidentially a development of his original idea.  His work was therefore entitled to copyright protection in line with Article 1 of the Italian Copyright Law which protects works ‘whatever their mode or form of expression’ and he was entitled to be named as a co-author of the advertisement.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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UK: 1967 Ltd v. British Sky Broadcasting Ltd., High Court of England and Wales, Chancery Division, Case No.: HC14C02952, 23 October 2014

This case concerned blocking orders pursuant to s97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). The Court found that there was copyright infringement by both UK users and operators of file-sharing websites, insofar as there was communication of copyright works, the communication was to the public, and the act of communication took place in the UK.  This was the case not only for the websites that allowed users to upload torrent files but also for those that only aggregated links to torrent files on other websites.  Further, the operators of the websites were also held to authorise the infringing acts of their UK users and to be jointly liable for infringements by the users. [...]

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