This judgment, rendered by the European Court of Justice on 26 February 2015 in response to a reference from the French Supreme Court, will satisfy the auction houses and art dealers in Europe (Christie’s France SNC v Syndicat national des antiquaires, Case C-41/14). The ECJ has held that under Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art, the seller or an art market professional involved in a transaction may agree with any other person, including the buyer, that the said other person will bear the [...]
Is the mere accessibility of a copyright infringing website sufficient to establish jurisdiction in a Member State? The Court of Justice of the European Union says a resounding “yes” in Pez Hejduk C-441/13.
The decision does not come as a big surprise, given the earlier (in)famous Pinckney C-170/12 ruling (reported on this blog here) – the ruling which many were refusing to believe was true. But it is. Pez Hejduk clears up any doubts.
Ms Hejduk is an author of photographic works depicting the buildings of the Austrian architect, Georg W. Reinberg. The defendant – EnergieAgentur – used Ms Hejduk’s photographs on its “.de” website. Taking the view that her copyright had been infringed, [...]
In its recent decision (22 January 2015) in the Allposters case (C-419/13), the ECJ confirmed that exhaustion of the distribution rights does not apply to works that have been modified. The copyright owner can therefore still oppose the distribution of the modified work, even if he had agreed to the distribution of the original work.
The degree of modification needed -or sufficient- to claim that exhaustion of rights does not apply is still uncertain: the ECJ confirmed that if the modification amounts to a new reproduction, the exhaustion of rights will not apply (even if the “original” copy is destroyed in the process of making the new copy). This is the case if the physical medium on w [...]
The CJEU’s interpretative work on copyright law issues launched in 2015 with the decision of 15 January in the case of Ryanair Ltd v PR Aviation BV (Case C‑30/14). The Ryanair ruling is the latest stone added to the complex edifice of legal protection of databases in Europe.
PR Aviation operates a website which allows consumers to search through the flight data of low-cost air companies. It obtains the necessary data to respond to an individual query by automated means, inter alia, from a dataset linked to the Ryanair website. Access to Ryanair’s website presupposes that a visitor to the site accepts the application of the air company’s general terms and conditions by ticking a box [...]
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 [...]
When it comes to copyright it is a game of all or nothing. During the term that a copyright exists, the owner of a copyright has a monopoly on the work due to the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution and communication to the public. When the copyright protection expires and the work enters the public domain, all exclusive rights vanish and the former copyright owner is left empty-handed.
On January 1st 2015, the works of the world-famous Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan (along with several other significant artists including Edvard Munch, best known for ‘the scream’) fell into the public domain. The colourful grid work paintings that Mondriaan is so well known for, can now, in prin [...]
“With the decision in case C-114/12, the Court is now placing emphasis on the hypotheticals by holding that the mere possibility of an international agreement impacting the EU acquis is enough to rule out Member States’ intervention, making the EU exclusively competent to conclude this type of agreement.”
On 4 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) delivered its ruling in case C-114/12 – Commission and Parliament v. Council, concerning a decision of the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States. The decision authorized the Commission to participate in the negotiation for a Convention on the protection of the rights of broadcasting organiz [...]
On 21st of October 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its order in a preliminary ruling procedure (C-348/13), which was referred to the CJEU by the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in May 2013. As yet, only the German and French language version of the order have been published.
The case concerned the question whether a website operator who embeds copyright protected videos in his website by framing technology infringes the copyright on these videos. Does framing constitutes a (yet unknown kind of) communication to the public pursuant to Art 3(1) InfoSoc-Directive (2001/29/EC)? Like th [...]
“What the Court did not consider though, is that the outcome of the application of the 3-step test to the digitisation of each individual work for the purposes of making it available for research and private study purposes may conflict with the absolute prohibition of digitising the entire collection.”
Judgment CJEU of 11 September 2014, Technische Universität Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG (C-117/13). Request for a preliminary ruling from German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice).
The CJEU confirms the ancillary right of public libraries to digitise books from their collection in order to make them available by dedicated terminals without the rightholder’s consent. However, in the [...]
Judgment CJEU, 3 September 2014, Deckmyn and Vrijheidsfonds (C-201/13). Request for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van Beroep te Brussel (Belgium).
Belgian copyright law provides that “once a work has been lawfully published, its author may not prohibit caricature, parody and pastiche, observing fair practices”. This provision, which existed before the adoption of the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29/CE, and which has not been modified by the implementation of the latter, was clearly subject to interpretation (especially the last three words : “observing fair practices”).
Belgian Courts and Tribunals have therefore progressively established many conditions to be met in order to successfu [...]