1. Introduction The internet has been a challenge for copyright since its advent two decades ago. Many questions have now been answered. It is surprising, however, that one of the main internet technologies, hyperlinking, is still the subject of hotly debated issues under EU copyright law, which the CJEU has yet to answer. 2. Linking…

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 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…

Decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof (“BGH”) of July 9, 2015, file no. I ZR 46/12 (“Die Realitaet II”) The CJEU confirmed in Svensson that linking to content may be a public communication where it reaches a new public. Some issues, however, remained unresolved. One open question is whether linking to illegal content always reaches a…

As we enter a new year, we would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes for 2016 to all of our readers, as well as reflect on developments in copyright over the past year.  Last year was a busy one in the copyright world, with a number of landmark CJEU decisions,…

The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has ruled on two cases concerning internet access providers’ obligation to block access to websites providing links to predominantly illegal content. In these two landmark decisions, the BGH has paved the way for website blocking in Germany. Where protected content is offered illegally, directly or via link providers,…

Decision Oberlandesgericht (Court of Appeal) Hamburg of July 1, 2015, file no. 5 U 87/12 and Landgericht (District Court) Munich I of 30 June 2015, file no. 33 O. 9639/14 YouTube is the most popular video-sharing website in the world. As it is not entirely free of videos that infringe third party copyrights, it is…

Case I ZR 177/13 of November 17, 2014: Moebelkatalog [Furniture Catalogue] published here. According to a recent ruling of the German Highest Civil Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (“BGH”), the copyright exception for “incidental inclusion of a work or other subject matter in other material” (Article 5 (3) lit. i) Copyright Directive 2001/29) has to be interpreted…

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…

“According to Art. 13 of the German Copyright Act (“CA”) the author has the right to be identified as the author of the work. He may determine whether the work shall bear a designation of authorship and which designation is to be used.” The District Court of Cologne (Landgericht Köln) apparently never sleeps. After its…