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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 [...]

The Court of Justice on Links: It is Allowed to Link. At Least In Principle.

tomasztargosz-sqThe Court of Justice delivered its highly anticipated decision on linking. A breath of relief is allowed: linking seems to be legal. But when one looks a little closer, disturbing things begin to emerge.

First things first. The decision in Case C‑466/12, resulting from a request for a preliminary ruling from a Swedish court (Nils Svensson and others v Retriever Sverige AB) comes to the conclusion that providing on a website a link to another website, where a copyright work is “freely available”, does not constitute an ‘act of communication to the public’ in the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmon [...]

The Netherlands: a hyperlink to unfindable files

bdpb“In that case, the publication of an hyperlink is, in principle, not an autonomous communication to the public”

It is a common fact that the sex-industry, along with the arms industry,  is a driving force behind many new developments. Porn is a major force on the internet and it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that important legal questions surface in porn-related cases. One example is the recent  commotion in Germany about tens of thousands of cease and desist letters for watching a porn-stream on the internet (see this earlier blog) and another example is a judgment of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in a case about playboy-photo’s that were leaked to or found by other media an [...]

Czech Supreme Court: Embedding is communication to the public

Martin HusovecIn February this year, the Czech Supreme Court ruled that a mere posting of an embedded link that links to copyright-protected material, must be regarded as a communication to the public and therewith as a direct copyright infringement. The Court was either unaware of pending cases in Luxembourg, or too impatient to wait for the CJEU. Paradoxically, whatever the response of CJEU in BestWater C-348/13 will be, the Czech court cannot be said to be wrong with regard to the direct infringement issue.

A few weeks ago, the Czech Constitutional Court (III. ÚS 1768/13) rejected a constitutional complaint of a young man, who was found guilty of copyright infringement by all court instances, includin [...]

Switzerland: No special law for social networks

Yani Benhamou“The report reflects the general tendency of Swiss legislative authorities to avoid legislative process and to favor a flexible approach of existing regulations.”

The Swiss Federal Council reported a few weeks ago, in response to a postulate referred by the National Council in 2011 related to the legal situation of social media, that Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs present legislation with new challenges but cannot be overcome by a separate special law. However a detailed examination will be carried out to determine whether new regulations are needed. This relates to the enforcement of the law, the liability of service providers and some aspects of data protection.

Proble [...]

Must Carry – Must Offer – Must Infringe

T-TargoszHow the Polish broadcasting law on must-carry and must-offer makes broadcasters choose whether to infringe copyright and licensing contracts or the Polish Broadcasting Act.

This post is about a rare mixture of folly and incompetence that is fortunately unlikely to leave any durable traces on the face of copyright law in Europe. However, the utter absurdity of the matter does not deprive it of its current (and hopefully only current) practical significance in Poland. For readers from outside Poland it may even be entertaining (for Poles, I am afraid, not so much).

The ingredients of all this are: (a) good intentions (b) dismal quality of legislation and (c) incompetence of a major public body [...]

ECJ: Unauthorized Streaming of TV content constitutes Copyright Infringement

pedro-letaiLast week, the European Court of Justice ruled in a preliminary ruling that live streaming of television channels is a ‘communication to the public’ within the meaning of the EU Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29). Therefore, the website TVCatchup, a free streaming service that offers over fifty channels of UK television on computers, smartphones and other devices connected to the internet, infringes the copyrights of commercial television broadcaster ITV.

To communicate protected works to the public under the Copyright Directive, permission of the right holder is needed. According to TVCatchup, only users with a valid television license are allowed to subscribe to its service. As users [...]

Google: “We made history in a very good way for the citizens of France.”

Christina Angelopoulos“Yet, in contrast to the legislative measures that had been previously contemplated, this deal is only of a stand-alone character and will not affect the situation of smaller aggregators.”

A while back we reported on the clash between search giant Google and media organisations in, among other countries, France over the former’s news aggregating service Google News. French publishing associations have been demanding the introduction of a ‘snippeting right’ in France which would oblige content aggregators to obtain a license, and thus share revenue, for the privilege of display links to their articles. The underlying idea is that those who profit from the distribution of content sho [...]

European Copyright Society issues opinion on Svensson hyperlinking case

Bernt-HugenholtzThe European Copyright Society, a group of prominent European scholars, today issued an opinion on the Svensson case (Case C-466/12), which is currently before the European Court of Justice. The case, which was referred to the Court by the Swedish Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) on 18 October 2012, raises the important question whether setting a hyperlink to a copyright protected work amounts to ‘communication to the public’ within the meaning of Article 3(1) of the Information Society Directive.

In a detailed, 17-page opinion the European Copyright Society argues that the answer to this question should be a resounding no. According to the Society, “The importance of this particular re [...]

Copyright in a Borderless Online Environment

Copyright law has developed in close connection with technological evolution. This is particularly true of digital technologies, especially the Internet, which, since the mid-1990s, has generated both vast opportunities and enormous challenges for the copyright system. Geographical distance is no longer an obstacle to the dissemination of works, which can now take place at virtually no cost. This has provided creators and their commercial partners with new means to exploit their rights, and it has opened the door to new forms of infringement, some of which have proved difficult to combat. To a large extent these opportunities and challenges relate to the territorial nature of copyright appli [...]

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