“The Supreme Court puts an end to a French oddity and makes the business of music synchronisation safer. (…) The Supreme Court took the opportunity to settle two major issues in French neighbouring rights: (1) a collective management organisation may only take action for the defence of its own members; (2) the collective agreements entered into before the Act of 3 July 1985 granting neighbouring rights to performers, are still in force.”
The Franco-Belgian movie Podium, released in 2004, tells the story of a Claude François lookalike who prepares for a contest. Claude François, AKA ‘Cloclo’, was a famous French pop singer of the 60s and 70s. In order to use recordings from the 60s an [...]
“This agreement covers all types of videos broadcasted by YouTube.”
The French collecting society SACEM, which manages the rights of authors and publishers of musical works, announced, on 3 April 2013, that it has entered into a new agreement with YouTube and Universal Music Publishing International (UMPI). This agreement defines the conditions of use of SACEM’s repertoire and UMPI’s Anglo-American repertoire in videos broadcasted by YouTube in 127 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The deal, however, does not include the United States. This agreement, which commences on 1 January 2013, covers all types of videos broadcasted by YouTube, including user-generated c [...]
“Yet, in contrast to the legislative measures that had been previously contemplated, this deal is only of a stand-alone character and will not affect the situation of smaller aggregators.”
A while back we reported on the clash between search giant Google and media organisations in, among other countries, France over the former’s news aggregating service Google News. French publishing associations have been demanding the introduction of a ‘snippeting right’ in France which would oblige content aggregators to obtain a license, and thus share revenue, for the privilege of display links to their articles. The underlying idea is that those who profit from the distribution of content sho [...]
“In the absence of any claim from the phonogram producer, or its assigns, the natural or legal person who publicly, peacefully and unambiguously exploits recordings, is deemed to be the holder of the rights in the recordings as regards third parties against whom an infringement case is brought.”
The French Intellectual Property Code deals with copyright and neighbouring rights separately. As regards copyright, the French case law has long established a presumption of ownership to facilitate infringement proceedings initiated by natural or legal persons who exploit copyrighted works against alleged infringers.
On the grounds of article L.113-5 of the Intellectual Property Code, which provides [...]
Playing Catch 22 with cultural heritage is quite simple: since cultural heritage institutions hardly ever are in a position to digitize their collection because of a lack of financial resources, they obtain funding on the basis of public/private partnerships.
Chances are that in return for the financial support needed for digitization, the private party will seek to retain exclusivity over the digitized objects and to impose restrictions on their further reproduction and making available to the public. The result: the collection is certainly digitized, but the public’s expectation of being able to freely re-use digitized works remains frustrated for as long as the private party has decided.
This provision retroactively validated private copying levies that had been paid or claimed based on rates annulled by the French Council of State. To fully understand the ruling of the Constitutional Council, it is necessary to explain the background of this provision.
Back in 2008, the Private Copying Commission (Commission pour la rémunération de la copie privée) set new levy rates in its Decision No. 11. On 17 June 2011, the Council of State annulled that decision on the grounds that products acquired by professionals for a pu [...]
ECtHR (5th section), 10 January 2013, case of Ashby Donald and others v. France, Appl. nr. 36769/08.
“Although the European Court did not find a violation of Article 10 in the case of Ashby Donald and others v. France, the judgment in this case has definitely confirmed that copyright enforcement, restrictions on the use of copyright protected works and sanctions based on copyright law ultimately can be regarded as interferences with the right of freedom of expression and information.”
For the first time in a judgment on the merits, the European Court of Human Rights has clarified that a conviction base [...]
There is nothing more subjective, and often arbitrary and unfair, than the notion on which copyright protection is based: originality. Under French law, the Intellectual Property Code protects “the rights of authors in all works of the mind, whatever their kind, form of expression, merit or purpose” (article L.112-1), without giving a definition of originality. French case law has defined originality as the expression of the personality of the author. European case law validated the French conception of originality, in particular in Infopaq and in Painer (para. 88: “As stated in recita [...]
The French Supreme Court (“Cour de Cassation”) has upheld, in a ruling of 25 September 2012, a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris condemning Radioblog and its managing directors to the payment of damages amounting to over €1 million, in addition to a suspended prison sentence of nine months and a €10,000 fine.
The case is interesting for two reasons: the gigantic amount of damages and the application, for the first time, of new provisions of the French Intellectual Property Code condemning the provision of software applications intended to be used for infringing copyright.
The facts are the following: the website Radioblog provided a software called ‘RadioBlogClub’ to Internet user [...]
The link wars have once again broken out in Europe. In August, the German cabinet gave its backing to a draft law allowing news publishers to collect compensation for the republication of headlines and the introductory sentences of articles by aggregators and search engines. Under the proposal, which would protect content for one year, news publishers would be able to license out snippeting rights for a royalty and start proceedings against those found to infringe their newfound neighbouring right. T [...]