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Dutch Supreme Court: Cable retransmission has ended, but the levy might be reintroduced

DVisserImportant ruling by Dutch Supreme Court on cable retransmission, film copyright and collective management of rights

Guest blog by Prof. Dr D.J.G. Visser, Institute for Private Law, Leiden University 

“This could well mean that several Dutch collecting societies, in particular those representing actors, screenwriters and directors (Norma, Lira and Vevam) can no longer claim remuneration for cable (re)transmission of programs broadcast by Dutch broadcasters.”

The cable distribution of Dutch television programs as it currently takes place in The Netherlands is no longer a ‘cable retransmission’ in the sense of the EU Satellite and Cable (SatCab) Directive, because it is no longer precede [...]

Blog Poll: Is the private copying system a virtuous system?

blog-poll--levies-2Last week the European Parliament adopted a resolution on private copying levies. The initiative for the motion came from Ms Francoise Castex MEP (Socialists and Democrats).

The European Parliament believes that “the private copying system is a virtuous system that balances the right to copying for private use with fair remuneration to rightholders, and that it is a system worth preserving.” The motion emphasizes that in times of budget austerity, private copying levies constitute a vital source of revenue for the cultural sector, and particularly for the performance arts, and “that the major disparities between national systems for the collection of levies, especially as regards the [...]

Downloading from Unlawful Sources. Reflections following the Villalón Opinion on AciAdam and Others.

Downloading illegal

This blog post discusses the recent Opinion by Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón in Case C-435/12 – ACI Adam and Others, delivered on 9 January 2014 (not available in English).

In this case, Advocate General Villalón considered whether reproductions from unlawful sources fall within the private copying exception of art. 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29/EC (Copyright Directive), as well as whether it is in line with the Directive to calculate the private copying levy based on reproductions from both lawful and unlawful sources. (All legal provisions cited hereinafter refer to this legal instrument, unless otherwise stated). The questions referred also relate to the effect of the application [...]

Switzerland proposes new measures against piracy

Yani BenhamouThe Swiss working group on Copyright (AGUR12) released his report on December 2013 related to management of rights at the digital age. This should lead to a legal basis for a notice and takedown procedure and thus reduce the supply of illegal content, while downloading from illegal sources should remain legal.

The original mandate goes back to a postulate referred by the Federal Council Simonetta Sommaruga on August 2012 to optimize the collective management of rights, in particular to adapt copyright law to technical developments. After more than a year of discussion, representatives of artists, economists and consumers made nine recommendations, addressed either to rightholders and collec [...]

France: a digital file in iTunes is a phonogram

Brad-SpitzThe right to exploit a recording “in the form of a phonogram published for commercial purposes”, includes the right to exploit it not only in the form of a tangible medium, such as a vinyl record or a CD, but also in the form of a downloadable digital file.

The judgement of 11 September 2013 is yet another recent important ruling of the French Supreme Court, the Cour de Cassation, in the field of neighbouring rights. In less than a year, the Cour de Cassation has ruled that collecting societies may only take action for their own members (see France: Supreme Court makes music synchronisation safer), that participants in a reality TV show are employees and not performers (see France: parti [...]

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 [...]

On copyright levies, printers, plotters and personal computers (VG Wort v Kyocera and others)

quintais“In essence, the disputes relate to the collecting societies’ intent to have intermediary suppliers pay levies on computers, printers and or plotters marketed in Germany. The suppliers, for their part, argued that some of the devices in question (namely printers and plotters) are incapable of autonomous copying.”

On June 27, 2013, the CJEU delivered its judgement in Joined Cases C‑457/11 to C‑460/11, VG Wort v Kyocera and others (VG Wort v Kyocera; see also the press pelease). This judgement was preceded by an Opinion by A.G. Sharpston (delivered on January 24, 2013) and comes in a particularly busy period for private copying and reprography levies, which has seen not only the publ [...]

Blank Tape Levies: the Latvian Constitutional Court’s first copyright case

Magda Papede KCB“The Cabinet of Ministers has failed to assess impact of technology development onto blank tapes and equipment to be used for reproduction and thus imposable with blank tape levy.” (Judgement Constitutional Court, 14.3).

Last year, the Satversmes tiesa, the Constitutional Court of Latvia, had to deal with the first copyright case since its establishment in 1996. The importance of the case, the Blank Tape Levy-case, lies especially in the dogmatic assessment of copyright in the light and the frame of the Constitution of Latvia (the Satversme). Article 113 of the constitution states that the State shall protect copyright.

The complainants were four of the five collective management organizatio [...]

France: Supreme Court makes music synchronisation safer

Brad-Spitz“The Supreme Court puts an end to a French oddity and makes the business of music synchronisation safer. (…) The Supreme Court took the opportunity to settle two major issues in French neighbouring rights: (1) a collective management organisation may only take action for the defence of its own members; (2) the collective agreements entered into before the Act of 3 July 1985 granting neighbouring rights to performers, are still in force.”

The Franco-Belgian movie Podium, released in 2004, tells the story of a Claude François lookalike who prepares for a contest. Claude François, AKA ‘Cloclo’, was a famous French pop singer of the 60s and 70s. In order to use recordings from the 60s an [...]

The Empire Strikes Back: CISAC beats Commission in General Court

quintais“This decision is significant insofar as it should impact the legislative process regarding the Proposed Directive “on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses.”

On April 12, 2013, the General Court of the European Union ended a 5 year wait and delivered its judgement in Case T–442/08 CISAC v. European Commission (CISAC 2013), as well as in twenty-two other related cases involving a like number of European collecting societies (see Press release No 43/13). In it the Court partially annulled the Commission’s decision of July 16, 2008 (CISAC 2008). This blog post will focus on the CISAC 2013 decision [...]

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