9 July 2015 saw the resolution of the umpteenth case involving Spain’s National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) versus a Spanish collecting society (judgment here). On this occasion, the society was SGAE, responsible for managing music copyright. The proceedings examined a complaint made by various composers regarding the measures that the society had adopted in order to reduce the dominant use that television channels were making of the repertoire published by the channels themselves. This primary objective of the investigation was then overshadowed by an assessment of the society’s agreements with all television operators, both public and private.
During the [...]
The EU Directive on the collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of online music (“the Directive”), published on 26 February 2014, entered into force on 10 April 2014 and must be transposed into national law by 10 April 2016. The policy underpinning the Directive is part of the European Commission’s ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ and the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy for ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’.
The purpose of the Directive is to:
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.
Since 2012 a multidisciplinary research group at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam has been conducting a large-scale empirical study of Alternative Compensation Systems (ACS). In simple terms, ACS are legal mechanisms that for a small monthly fee would authorize non-commercial online uses by individuals, including the downloading and sharing of protected works (such as music, films, and books), while compensating rights holders.
On Saturday, 11th of July, 2015, we will present our results in Amsterdam, and discuss the implications of our findings in three high-profile panels examining the economic, socio-political and legal aspects of ACS . (You can access th [...]
The 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 [...]
On June 4th, the US Copyright Office published a report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. The report addresses two situations where the current US copyright system may not fulfill its aim to “promote the Progress of Science”: orphan works and mass-digitization. As regards orphan works, the Office notes that a user’s ability to seek permission or to negotiate licensing terms is compromised by the fact that, despite his or her diligent efforts, the user cannot identify or locate the copyright owner. As regards mass digitization – which involves making reproductions of many works, as well as possible efforts to make the works publicly accessible – the Office observes that obtaini [...]
The Belgian legal order has recently welcomed a new legal code: the Code of Economic Law (CEL). Laws are not systematically arranged in codes in Belgium: there are some codes (such as the judicial code, the criminal code, codes of various types of taxes etc.) as well as countless separate laws, acts and regulations for its many levels of governance. Now we have a Code of Economic Law (here in Dutch and in French), which is meant to gather in one volume various regulations pertaining to the field of “economic law”, such as competition law, consumer protection, product and service safety, e-commerce, banking and finance, specific enforcement proceedings, etc.
The Code of Economic La [...]
On the 13th March 2015, the President of the Brussels French speaking Court of First Instance pronounced a judgment to the detriment of Sabam, an important collective management organisation in Belgium. In 2011 Sabam decided to claim a fee from Internet access providers in exchange for a licence which allows these providers to communicate copyright protected works to the public (see here). I shall first discuss the control on the pricing system set up by Sabam. I shall then study how electronic communication law’s notions were used to define the scope of this pricing system. A final discussion will be dedicated to the rest of the procedure in this case setting the Belgian State against Sab [...]
In its recent judgment in EAÜ v MTÜ Safari Seiklused (the “Safari” case), the Estonian court held that where a person has signed a licence agreement with an authors’ collecting society, with the intention of using the rights of authors commercially for a public performance, they must unquestioningly fulfil all of the terms of that agreement. According to the licence agreement signed between an Estonian concert organiser, MTÜ Safari Seisklused, and the Estonian Authors’ Society (EAÜ) the amount of the licence fee did not depend on how many authors EAÜ in fact represents. Therefore, although in this case EAÜ represented only one author from three whose works were being played publicl [...]
The 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 [...]