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CJEU in UPC Telekabel Wien: A totally legal court order…to do the impossible

Christina-Angelopoulos“This indicates the main danger of the ruling, that of fragmentation. This was foreseen by the Austrian referring court, which suggested that guidelines assessing the proportionality of blocking measures be laid down by the CJEU – that would have been welcome indeed! That absence is certainly the biggest deficiency of the ruling.”

Last Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment on Austria’s Oberster Gerichtshof reference for a preliminary ruling in Case C-314/12, UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH.   

The case begun when film production companies Constantin Film Verheih and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft GmbH noticed their copy [...]

Artist’s Resale Rights: French preliminary question to the ECJ

Brad-SpitzCan an auction house transfer the responsibility of paying the resale right royalty from the seller to the buyer?

Directive 2001/84/EC created a resale right (‘droit de suite’) in the EU for the benefit of the author of an original work of art. This resale right is ‘defined as an inalienable right, which cannot be waived, even in advance, to receive a royalty based on the sale price obtained for any resale of the work, subsequent to the first transfer of the work by the author’ (Article 1). The directive was adopted in 2001 but only came into force on 1 January 2010.

Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC states that ‘The royalty shall be payable by the seller’, and that Member St [...]

Downloading from Unlawful Sources. Reflections following the Villalón Opinion on AciAdam and Others.

Downloading illegal

This blog post discusses the recent Opinion by Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón in Case C-435/12 – ACI Adam and Others, delivered on 9 January 2014 (not available in English).

In this case, Advocate General Villalón considered whether reproductions from unlawful sources fall within the private copying exception of art. 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29/EC (Copyright Directive), as well as whether it is in line with the Directive to calculate the private copying levy based on reproductions from both lawful and unlawful sources. (All legal provisions cited hereinafter refer to this legal instrument, unless otherwise stated). The questions referred also relate to the effect of the application [...]

The Svensson case and the act of communication to a new public

Patricia mariscal“In other words, the initial communication by the copyright holder already encompassed the potential public that subsequently accessed the content via the links”


The long-awaited judgment of the CJEU in the Svensson case, judgment of 13 February 2013 in (C-466/12).

The legal definition of internet links has been a widely-discussed subject in recent times, pitting those who consider links an act of communication to the public within the meaning of article 3.1 of Directive 2011/29/EC (Directive of the Information Society) against those who, on equally justifiable grounds, argue that the creation of internet links does not, strictly speaking, constitute an act of communication to the publi [...]

The ECJ clarifies right to take action against individuals’ imports of unauthorized copies in the EU

Philippe-Laurent“The test in case of sale could therefore be reduced to the following simple question: would there have been an infringement if the seller had been established in the Member State where the buyer resides.”

On 6 February 2014, the Court of Justice of the EU issued a decision in the Blomqvist v Rolex SA Case (C-98/13) that has been welcomed by IP rights owners. It simplifies and clarifies the test that should be run to determine whether goods acquired on-line from a seller established in a non-member state are goods infringing intellectual property rights in the sense of Regulation 1383/2003 of 22 July 2003.

The regulation gives a specific definition to the “goods infringing an intellectual [...]

Do most US authors still only enjoy a copyright term of life plus 50 in the EU?

Naamloos-1Both the US and the EU now have basic copyright terms of the life of the author plus 70 years.  But when US authors simultaneously publish in Canada, they may end up truncating their term of copyright in the EU. 

Moreover, simultaneous Canadian publication decades ago could have an immediate effect on works by US authors who died between 50 and 70 years ago – a list that includes Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jerome Kern, W.C. Handy, Buddy Holly, Alfred Stieglitz, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Here’s why, with a few twists and complications along the way. 

In 1993, the EU directed its member states to set the basic term of copyright to life plus 70.  Yet it contem [...]

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 [...]

European Copyright Law : Quo vadis? The European Commission asks for your opinion

Tatiana-Sinodinou“The first question (territoriality) and the last question (single EU copyright title) could be considered as the alpha and the omega of the questionnaire and they are interlinked in various ways.”

A public consultation on the review of EU copyright rules was launched by the European Commission a few  days ago .  The consultation refers to key issues of copyright law in the digital environment which have been identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market, such as “territoriality in the Internal Market, harmonization, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age, fragmentation of the EU copyright market and how to improve the effectiveness and effic [...]

Open Access to Scientific Articles: Comparing Italian with German law

Valentina-MosconBy Valentina Moscon, Scholarship holder at the Max Planck Institute & University of Trento

The Italian Parliament recently approved a new law concerning the valorization of culture (Law of October 7, 2013, n. 112, G.U. n. 236, 8.10.2013). The law includes, in section 4, a regulation for Open Access (OA) to scientific publications.

With this new law, the Italian parliament aims to align Italy’s national law with the European Open Access policies that are clearly expressed in the EU Commission’s Recommendation of 17 July 2012 on “Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information” and the Communication “Towards better access to scientific information: Boosting the benefits of publ [...]

Jurisdiction in EU copyright cases: accessibility of a website is a criterion

Brad-SpitzFor the ECJ, in the meaning of Article 5(3) of the Regulation 44/2001, a harmful event may arise from the possibility of obtaining a reproduction of a work from an internet site accessible within the jurisdiction of the court seised.

In its judgement Pinckney v. KDG Mediatech AG of 3 October 2013 (case C-170/12), the European Court of Justice answered a request for a preliminary ruling from French Supreme Court, concerning the interpretation of Article 5(3) of the Regulation 44/2001 on jurisdiction and recognition, which provides that “A person domiciled in a Member State may, in another Member State, be sued (…) in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict, in the courts fo [...]

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