The EU Directive on the collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of online music (“the Directive”), published on 26 February 2014, entered into force on 10 April 2014 and must be transposed into national law by 10 April 2016. The policy underpinning the Directive is part of the European Commission’s ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ and the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy for ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’.
The purpose of the Directive is to:
A recent judgment by the CJEU set aside a decision of the General Court annulling an OHIM decision to invalidate a Community trade mark owned by the National Lottery Commission, based on the presumed existence of an earlier copyright. The CJEU remitted the case back to the General Court for a ruling taking into account the right of the parties to a fair trial. After eight years and after passing through the entire gamut of the European Union’s appeal proceedings, the copyright was finally declared non-existent and the trade mark valid.
On 2 October 2007 the applicants, the National Lottery Commission (now the Gambling Commission), obtained Community trade mark registration no. 4800399, repro [...]
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 question of why, when in China, we would want to visit the Austrian town of Hallstatt, these trends do say something. They show that we have entered into the age of repeatability for architecture, as recently demonstrated by the copy of Zaha Hadid’s Wangjing Soho that has been built in Chongqing. On t [...]
Since 2012 a multidisciplinary research group at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam has been conducting a large-scale empirical study of Alternative Compensation Systems (ACS). In simple terms, ACS are legal mechanisms that for a small monthly fee would authorize non-commercial online uses by individuals, including the downloading and sharing of protected works (such as music, films, and books), while compensating rights holders.
On Saturday, 11th of July, 2015, we will present our results in Amsterdam, and discuss the implications of our findings in three high-profile panels examining the economic, socio-political and legal aspects of ACS . (You can access th [...]
On 16th April 2015 the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) delivered its final judgment in a lengthy legal standoff, which began its journey through the judiciary in 2009. The judgment is not yet available but is discussed in a press release here. Since that time libraries and publishing houses have fought with one another over the meaning of access to digital content, the right to reproduction and traditional copyright exploitation schemes. The dispute at hand revolved around Sec. 52b of the German Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz), containing a statutory copyright limitation which permits certain institutions such as public libraries, museums and archives to make published works of w [...]
On May 6th, 2015 the European Commission revealed its eagerly anticipated plans for the EU digital single market. The EU Digital Market strategy, which aims to open up digital opportunities for individuals and businesses and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy, is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; and (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.
As far as copyright law is concerned, the EU digital single market initiative has rapidly emerged as a new [...]
Back in April 2014, following the Council’s authorization, the EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (“Marrakesh Treaty”). Under the Treaty, parties are to adopt copyright exceptions to facilitate access to formats of works accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. Countries must moreover provide for the cross-border exchange of accessible-format works.
There were however no less than 7 Member States that considered that the Treaty fell under an area of shared competence between the EU and the Member States. According to the opposing Member State [...]
Benjamin Gibert’s report for the Lisbon Council entitled ‘The 2015 Intellectual Property and Economic Growth Index: Measuring the Impact of Exceptions and Limitations in Copyright on Growth, Jobs and Prosperity’ raised eyebrows in The Netherlands. Not that the conclusion that ‘countries that employ a broadly “flexible” regime of exceptions in copyright also see higher rates of growth in value-added output throughout their economy’ came as a surprise, but no one ever expected The Netherlands to score lower than France on the topic of flexibility in copyright! Really!
How to explain my and other Dutch copyright experts’ dismay at this finding? Would the answer perhaps lie in the methodolo [...]
In a decision that could have serious implications for websites providing real time streaming of free to air broadcasts, the English Court of Appeal has recently handed down its Judgment in the case of ITV Broadcasting Limited and others v TV Catchup Limited and others  EWCA Civ 204. The outcome is that the action brought by a number of British free to air broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) against TV Catchup, an internet TV streaming service, has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) for a second time.
Readers may remember that this case has already been referred to the CJEU (Case C-607/11), who held that the concept of c [...]
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 [...]