On 26 March, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down Case C-279/13 C More Entertainment, the latest decision regarding the right of communication to the public in the context of websites providing links to content. In this particular case, C More provided live broadcasts of ice hockey matches on the Internet for payment of a fee. The defendant created links on its website to the C More live broadcasts and circumvented the paywall thus allowing its users to have live access to the broadcasts.
When the case of C More was initially referred, the fashionable focus on the nature of internet hyperlinks was in full swing. There were already pending references for Svensson [...]
In a case concerning the use of a radio set in a small bike shop, the Constitutional Court ruled that in order to assess whether a user is making a communication to the public, the situation of the specific user and of all the persons to whom he communicates the protected works must be assessed.
The book “The Variable Scope of the Exclusive Economic Rights in Copyright” recently published in Kluwer’s Information Law Series is the result of my doctoral research (which led to a doctoral dissertation defended at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2011). This article provides an overview of the research described in the book, followed by a more detailed description of some of the key subjects covered.
Overview of the Book
Originally, the starting point of the research was the observation that in a digital always “ON” world some acts are protected under copyright, while the same acts are not in the analogue world. Take searching for information as an example: in the analogue w [...]
“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 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 [...]
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 [...]
In 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 [...]
“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.
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 [...]
Last 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 [...]