The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has ruled on two cases concerning internet access providers’ obligation to block access to websites providing links to predominantly illegal content. In these two landmark decisions, the BGH has paved the way for website blocking in Germany. Where protected content is offered illegally, directly or via link providers,…

The French Supreme Court (‘Cour de cassation’) has caused a stir in France (15 May 2015, No 13-27391), by quashing a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris for breaching Article 10-2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The Supreme Court held that before condemning an alleged infringer for copyright infringement, the…

Decision Oberlandesgericht (Court of Appeal) Hamburg of July 1, 2015, file no. 5 U 87/12 and Landgericht (District Court) Munich I of 30 June 2015, file no. 33 O. 9639/14 YouTube is the most popular video-sharing website in the world. As it is not entirely free of videos that infringe third party copyrights, it is…

The Supreme Court held that it is a matter of fact, not law, whether a work created from fragments of another work is a derivative work (according to Article 2 of the Copyright Act) or another kind of non-independently created work. Therefore this type of issue cannot be debated in an action for determining the…

The relationship between copyright and public art has always been difficult. From the initial reluctance to include architectural works as copyrightable subject matter because of their functional dimension, to the attempt at copyrighting works that, like the Egyptian pyramids, have never been protected (see here), passing on through the cases of “duplitectural marvels”. Moving beyond…

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…

For quite a long time nothing special has been happening in Polish copyright law. Some court decisions here and there (in all fairness unlikely to be called ground-breaking) and some new legislative initiatives (that will be worthy of presenting if eventually passed). However, yesterday (June 23, 2015) the Polish Constitutional Tribunal issued a decision on…

This case concerned blocking orders pursuant to s97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). The Court found that there was copyright infringement by both UK users and operators of file-sharing websites, insofar as there was communication of copyright works, the communication was to the public, and the act of communication took place in the UK.  This…

The claimants, all members of the Motion Picture Association of America holding copyright in a large number of films and TV programmes, were granted a blocking order preventing the use of Popcorn Time, an open source streaming application which used the BitTorrent protocol to download the claimants’ copyright content. A full summary of this case…

The Court of Appeals held that a European Usenet Service Provider (‘USP’), ‘NSE’, was excluded from liability for infringement of copyright and neighbouring rights, pursuant to the provisions for mere conduit service providers and hosting service providers in Articles 12 to 15 of Directive 2000/31/EC (The E-Commerce Directive) as implemented into Dutch law. In the context of…