A. Introduction and Background In copyright law the term ‘communication to the public’ marks the boundary between use which has a copyright law relevance and use which does not. The interpretation of the term within EU member states is based on various EU directives. Of note however, is that the term communication to the public…

On the 7th of April AG Wathelet issued his Opinion in the GS Media case (C-160/15). The case concerned the provision by GS Media of hyperlinks that directed users to Filefactory.com, an Australian data-storage website. Users could then click on the following link, which would open a window that contained the button “DOWNLOAD NOW”. By…

A report published by the EnDOW project on the “Requirements for Diligent Search in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Italy” confirms what everyone suspected all along: the diligent search mechanism set up by the Orphan Works Directive is too cumbersome to lead to useful results. Consequently, the status of works held by cultural heritage…

IN CASES OF INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, COMPENSATION FOR MORAL DAMAGES IS COMPATIBLE WITH PECUNIARY DAMAGES CALCULATED ON THE BASIS OF “HYPOTHETICAL ROYALTIES”.  Judgment of the CJEU of 17 March 2016 in Liffers, C-99/15 BACKGROUND This CJEU decision stems from legal proceedings brought in Spain by Mr. Liffers, the director, screenwriter and producer of…

The European Commission keeps sending us surprises. After December’s Communication on Modernizing Copyright, which contained a mixed bag of copyright goodies, we had expected just about anything but the announcement that followed on March 23rd. The European Commission has launched a public open consultation on ‘the possible extension’ of neighbouring rights to publishers. As we…

On 16 March 2016 the CJEU’s Advocate General Szpunar handed down his Opinion in case C-484/14, Mc Fadden. The case concerns the liability of Tobias Mc Fadden, the owner of a business selling lighting and sound systems in Munich. Mr Mc Fadden operates a Wi-Fi hotspot on the business’ premises, deliberately left unprotected by a…

On 2 February 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered its first post-Delfi judgment on the liability of online service providers for the unlawful speech of others. Somewhat puzzlingly, the Court reached the opposite conclusion from that of last summer’s controversial Grand Chamber ruling, this time finding that a violation of Article 10…

Case C‑572/13, HP v. Reprobel, 12 November 2015 By Philippe Laurent and Céline Wulleman, Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners As we know, Member States may adopt exceptions to the reproduction right of authors in the cases and under the conditions listed in Article 5 of Directive 2001/29. Some of those exceptions may be transposed…

In response to a reference from the Bundesgerichtshof (Germany), the CJEU ruled that geographical information extracted from a topographic map by a third party in order to produce and market another map retains, following its extraction, sufficient informative value to be classified as ‘independent materials’ of a ‘database’ within the meaning of Article 1(2) of…

It is beyond dispute that Anne Frank’s diary is of great historical value. A recent Dutch court decision confirms this, in a case that perfectly illustrates the tension between freedom of scientific research and the enforcement of copyright. On the 23rd of December 2015, the District Court of Amsterdam handed down its ruling in a…