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Why the reform of the Spanish law has been contested in the Spanish Constitutional Court

Pablo HernandezThe latest large-scale reform of the Spanish Copyright Act was published on 5 November 2014.  The key aspects of the reform are discussed here.  The bulk of the opposition to the reform contends that two provisions of the Act, namely, the new regulation for private copying and the imposition of a “one-stop shop” system, breach the Spanish Constitution.    

The current Spanish governing party decided as soon as they came to power, at the end of 2011, to abolish private copy payments by consumers in Spain in order to fulfil a campaign pledge to voters.  Since no one wanted to make private copying into an illegal practice, the solution was to keep the copyright limit and to add the [...]

Spain: APM v. SGAE, Spanish National Competition Commission, Resolution S/0460/13, 6 November 2014

In a recent decision, the Spanish Market and Competition Commission (CNMC), imposed a fine of 3.1 million Euros on the Spanish collecting society, SGAE, for demanding an excessive fee for concert licensing.

This decision is of particular interest because the Spanish competition authority has taken a new approach when interpreting the European law on the method of analysing the fairness of a fee.  This could lead to considerable uncertainty if this line of interpretation should become established.

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

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France: TF1, Court of Cassation of France, First Civil Law Chamber, 13-22401, 13 November 2014

In this judgment, the French Supreme Court ruled that an author who is a member of a collecting society may not take action in infringement cases to protect his economic rights, except in the case of a deficiency on the part of said collecting society.

In the same judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that publishing agreements for the assignment of rights of an author must be in writing, and it is not possible to demonstrate the existence of an agreement by reference to the behaviour of the authors as regards the exploitation of the work.

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

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France: Do members of collecting societies retain the right to sue?

Brad-SpitzArticle L.321-1 paragraph 2 of the French Intellectual Property Code (‘IPC’) provides that collecting societies are entitled to take legal action to defend the rights for which they are responsible under their articles of association (by-laws). Collecting societies may therefore take legal action to defend their repertoires and those of foreign collecting societies that they manage, whether before the civil courts (Supreme Court, 22 March 1988, 86-11874) or the criminal courts (Supreme Court, 25 October 1988, 86-91720). In its judgment of 13 November 2014 (13-22401), the French Supreme Court answered a very important question: do authors who are members of collecting societies retain the [...]

Spain: An excessive fee for concert licensing

Pablo HernandezCompetition and collecting societies: a special application of European legal doctrine in Spain.

“It seems to utilise the previous methods in a forced manner, even though those methods had led to very different conclusions on a European level.”

In a recent decision by the Spanish Market and Competition Commission (CNMC), once again penalising SGAE with a fine of 3.1 million Euros for demanding an excessive fee for concert licensing, an attempt was made to apply European doctrine. 

The decision is particularly interesting because the Spanish competition authority has interpreted European legal doctrine on the method of analysing the fairness of a fee and does so with a personal touch th [...]

UK: Extended Collective Licensing

Dinusha Mendis - Victoria StoboOn the 1st October 2014, the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations 2014 came into force in the UK.1  

Licensing bodies and collecting societies already operate within the UK, providing rights management and licensing services for their rightsholder members across a range of sectors including publishing, art and design, music and performance.2  Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) occurs where a collecting society is granted permission to license specific kinds of copyright works across an entire sector, thereby representing the interests of non-member rightsholders in addition to those of their own members. ECL was first developed in the Nordic co [...]

CJEU in OSA: a victory for right holders against free use and of CMOs against the European Commission?

Sylvie-Nérisson“The answers from Luxembourg were much awaited not only due to the questions being interesting as such, but also because academia, the European Commission and the CJEU do not see eye to eye on these currently highly debated issues.”

In response to questions lodged by a Czech court (Krajský soud v Plzni) in a preliminary ruling procedure ( C‑351/12), the Court of Justice of the European Union decided earlier this year that there is no flexibility in the interpretation of the Infosoc directive (2001/29/EC) regarding limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights (points 40-41) and that the statutory monopoly position of a CMO complies with the requirements of the Services directive (200 [...]

Blog Poll results: the private copying system

blog-poll--levies-2We have closed our second blog poll and we have counted the votes. First of all, it is heartwarming to see that more readers are concerned about the position of orphans than about private copying: whereas our first blog poll about the orphan works directive attracted a few thousand voters, this second poll  closed with a result of just a few hundred votes.

A fairly reasonable amount. Questions in online polls are often short and snappy, and we realize that our 8 questions about Ms Francoise Castex’s  motion, Antonió Vitorino’s report and the implications of the Padawan decision were perhaps less easy  to digest.

Summarized in short: According to  the European Parliament, private c [...]

No more downloading from unlawful sources?

Quintais-de-Leeuw-DLDThis would mean that the ruling will not leave end-users substantially worse-off, despite the qualification of their acts as infringing. However, that is a difficult argument to make.”

In its judgment of 10 April 2014 in Case C-435/12 ACI Adam BV and Others the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the private copying limitation, when interpreted in light of the three-step test, only allows Member States to exempt reproductions made for private use from lawful sources from authorization. The Court essentially followed the Opinion of AG Villalón (see here).

Table of Contents

Facts, dispute and questions referred
Judgment
Reactions and Impact
Conclusion

Facts, dispute an [...]
Thumbnails: French proposal for payment of royalties by search engines

Brad-SpitzIn France, search engines using thumbnails are likely to infringe on copyright. On 8 April 2014, a French Senator proposed a Bill to establish compulsory collective management for the reproduction of photographs and images by search engine services.

Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of photographs and images, used by search engines such as Google Images in order to facilitate their recognition and organisation, with links to the websites where the photographs and images are published.

Such reproduction of photographs and other works is likely to constitute fair use under the US Copyright Act of 1976 (see Meng Ding, Perfect 10 v Amazon.com: A Step Toward Copyright’s Tort Law Roots, Berk [...]

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