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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 [...]

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 [...]

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