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EU: Does Innoweb hinder innovation on the web?

Martin Husovec“The activity of the operator of a dedicated meta search engine (…) comes close to the manufacture of a parasitical competing product.”

Christmas somewhat overshadowed the publication of a particularly interesting CJEU decision: case C-202/12 (Innoweb), dealing with the legal protection of databases in relation to meta search engines. The judgment was published on 19 december 2013.

The preliminary questions referred to the CJEU arose in Dutch civil proceedings against Innoweb, a company that operates the dedicated car meta search engine ‘GasPedaal’ (literally ‘accelerator pedal’), which enables users to simultaneously carry out searches in several collections (databases) of ca [...]

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 [...]

France: notification and sale of personal data

Brad-SpitzThis ruling has direct and very important consequences on copyright deals such as database sales agreements, where personal data is sold.”

In a short but very important judgement of 25 June 2013, the Cour de cassation, the French Supreme Court, has ruled that the sale of a computerized customer file is null and void if the French personal data authority CNIL has not been notified of the file in compliance with article 22 of the French personal data Act.

In the present case, a natural person brought a case against a company, claiming that the sale of a computerized customer file containing personal data had to be annulled, because the CNIL had not been notified of the file. To dismiss th [...]

Goodbye, Geschriftenbescherming!

Bernt-HugenholtzBesides tulips, cheese, football and other recreational matters, the Netherlands are famous for its copyright protection of non-original writings. Geschriftenbescherming, as the Dutch call this legal anomaly (and only they know how to pronounce it), is a remnant of an ancient eighteenth-century printer’s right that lives on until this day in the Dutch Copyright Act of 1912. Deviating from the idea of author’s right (droit d’auteur) to which Dutch law otherwise subscribes, the Dutch Act protects ‘writings’ that do not meet the test of originality. Article 10 (1), first item, of the Act, mentions as protected subject matter ‘books, brochures, newspapers, periodicals and all other wri [...]

Football Dataco II: ‘Re-utilisation’ must be interpreted broadly

“The ECJ does not go as far as the Advocate General, and observes that given the ubiquitous nature of the content of a website, the mere fact that the website is accessible in a national territory is not sufficient to consider that the operator of that site is performing an act of re-utilisation caught by the national law.”

On 18 October 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rendered its judgment in Football Dataco II (C-173/11), in which it ruled that data is re-utilised in a Member State, the meaning of Article 7 of the Directive 96/9, if there is evidence that the alleged infringer intended to target members of the public in that territory.

The Court of Appeal of England and Wale [...]

A Century of Dutch Copyright Law

On September 23, 1912, the Dutch Copyright ActAuteurswet – was enacted. A century after its enactment the Dutch law is one of the world’s oldest ‘living’ acts of the author’s rights tradition. While the Act has seen many small and large amendments since its adoption in 1912, it has never been thoroughly revised, so its conception and basic structure have remained essentially intact.

On August 31, 2012, the Dutch Copyright Society (Vereniging voor Auteursrecht) will celebrate the Act’s hundredth anniversary with a large international conference to be held in Amsterdam at the beautiful Royal Tropical Institute (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen). The conference will look at [...]

Football Dataco keeps the Court of Justice busy, this time with jurisdictional issues

On 21 June 2012, Advocate General Cruz Villalón delivered his opinion in Case C-173/11: Football Dataco Ltd and Ors v. Sportradar GmbH and Ors regarding a question where the use of the content of a database protected by sui generis database right takes place.

It has been four months since the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Case C-604/10 Football Dataco Ltd, and Ors. v Yahoo! And Ors. (see E.Derclaye’s comment here) holding that inter alia that “significant labour and skill of the author of the database cannot as such justify the protection of it by copyright under Directive 96/9, if that labour and that skill do not express any originality in the selection or arrangement of [...]

Football Dataco: skill and labour is dead!

Summary & comment by Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Associate Professor and Reader in Intellectual Property law, University of Nottingham, School of Law.

“The crux of the judgment comes at paragraph 42 when the court clearly states that skill and labour in the selection or arrangement of the data, even if significant, is not sufficient as such to trigger copyright protection.”

This morning, the Court of Justice delivered its judgement in Case C-604/10, Football Dataco & others v. Yahoo UK ! & others and followed Advocate General Mengozzi’s opinion.The case concerned, yet again, football fixtures lists. The claimant (Football Dataco) argued that the lists were protected by copyright as databases [...]

Databases: sui generis protection and copyright protection

Data creation, intellectual creation and creativity in the world of databases: The Advocate’s General Opinion in the Football Dataco Ltd v. Yahoo! Uk Limited Case and its potential impact in database copyright.

What is a database? Are database copyright protection and database sui generis protection completely independent?  What is the creativity level for asserting that the selection of the disposition of a database contents is the «author’s own intellectual creation» or is creativity not a prerequisite for database copyright protection? Fifteen years after the adoption of the Database Directive, this odd creature in the copyright world, these questions are far from being resolved. E [...]

A list of permanent memory absolute addresses

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 09-11-2011: Forensic Telecommunications Services Ltd v. Chief Constable of West

Copyright does not subsist in a list of permanent memory absolute (“PM Abs”) addresses of mobile phones that are used to extract data from mobile phones in forensic investigations. There may have been an expenditure of skill, labour and judgement but it has not been of the right kind. If copyright did subsist in the list, the defendants would have infringed copyright by substantially reproducing the list. Fair dealing defences would not apply. However, the list is protected by the database right due to the investment made in obtaining the data. By posting the list on the Phone-fo [...]

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