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The Netherlands: Rubik v. Beckx Trading, Supreme Court of the Netherlands, ECLI:NL:HR:2014:2737, 19 September 2014

Erno Rubik, creator of the famous Rubik’s Cube, brought suit against a Dutch enterprise that trades in gift articles, including the so-called ‘Magic Cube’, which strongly resembles Rubik’s own ‘Rubik’s Cube’. Prior to the Supreme Court proceedings, the Arnhem Court of Appeals ruled that the (combination of) the Rubik’s Cube’s characteristic six colours was considered to meet the ‘own intellectual creation’ threshold needed for copyright protection. However, the Rubik’s Cube as such – abstracted from its colours – did not meet this standard, as the characteristic elements of the Rubik’s Cube merely serve a technical function, precluding it from being protectable by cop [...]

IViR Survey Shows Public Support for Legalizing Digital Content Sharing through Alternative Compensation System

quintais 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 [...]

The Netherlands: NSE v. Stichting BREIN, Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2014:3435, 19 August 2014

The Court of Appeals held that a European Usenet Service Provider (‘USP’), ‘NSE’, was excluded from liability for infringement of copyright and neighbouring rights, pursuant to the provisions for mere conduit service providers and hosting service providers in Articles 12 to 15 of Directive 2000/31/EC (The E-Commerce Directive) as implemented into Dutch law. In the context of an Usenet service, an efficient Notice-and-Take-Down procedure is sufficient to establish an expeditious act to remove or disable access to the information in the situation where the USP obtains knowledge or awareness of copyright infringing material. Although NSE was excluded from liability, other measures c [...]

The Netherlands: Photo on YouTube Channel, Court of Appeal of ‘s Hertogenbosch, ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:284, IEF 11605 and ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:2524, IEF 14082, 29 July 2014

This case in the Court of Appeal of ‘s-Hertogenbosch concerned the use of a photograph of a photo model by two rappers in one of their music videos. The video was uploaded to YouTube after which it was disseminated via their own website’s homepage and their YouTube Channel. Although the rappers were authorised to do so by the photo model in question, they did not have the consent of the photographer, i.e. the rightholder. Consequently, the photographer brought suit against the two rappers on the basis of copyright infringement.

In order to estimate her damages, the photographer provided the Court with an indicative rates list for photography assignments. Although the Court found t [...]

Back on the Green Road: How Imperative are Imperative Rules?


Echos from the Dutch legal and scientific communities indicate that opinions widely diverge on the topic of the imperative character of proposed article 25 fa) of the Dutch Copyright Act in situations bearing an international dimension.

As discussed in my previous blogpost, this new provision would give authors of short works of science for which the research is funded in whole or in part by Dutch public funds, the right to make the work available to the public for free, after a reasonable time after the first publication, provided that the source of the first publication is indicated. In view of the international character of scientific research and of the scientific publishing market, I [...]

The Next Great Copyright Act: Remember the Authors!

This article was originally published on the Media Institute website – see here.  It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.

In a previous column for the Media Institute (Feb. 17, 2015), I urged that any copyright reform legislation that emerges from the preparations for “the next great copyright act” should ensure both authors’ attribution and economic interests.  The earlier column addressed attribution; this column will consider remuneration, a matter that has lately been the subject of copyright reform in the Netherlands and France as well.

The Anglo-American legal tradition, not generally known for solicitude toward the weaker party in contract negotiations, [...]

Almost there! In Support of the Green Road to Dutch Science!

Image from page 447 of "The theory and practice of horticulture; or, An attempt to explain the chief operations of gardening upon physiological grounds" (1855) The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the main public funding agency in the country, has been enforcing already for a few years an Open Access (OA) policy for the dissemination of the results of the research that it finances (both publications and data). The NWO does not mandate a specific form of OA: Green is as good as Gold! But the practical implementation of the Green Road is, as often the case, subject to the capability of individual authors to secure the right to deposit their article in an institutional repository, once they have transferred their rights to a publisher.

For an equally long period of time the Dutch legislator has been engaged in a process to am [...]

The Dutch courts apply UsedSoft to the resale of eBooks

Portret SabaOn 20 January, the Dutch court of appeals (Hof Amsterdam) gave its preliminary ruling in the case of Tom Kabinet. In this ruling the court had to consider whether the CJEU UsedSoft rationale applies to eBooks as well. Without giving a final judgment, the court indicated that it considers it quite likely that exhaustion of rights, as described in art 4(2) of the Infosoc Directive, also applies to intangible goods, such as eBooks.

Tom Kabinet, a Dutch company, started a business in ‘used’ eBooks. The owner of an eBook can sell his copy through the website of Tom Kabinet. In order to sell used eBooks, the owner needs to declare that he obtained the copy legally, by agreeing to Tom Kabinet [...]

Happy Public Domain Day

Emilie KannekensWhen it comes to copyright it is a game of all or nothing. During the term that a copyright exists, the owner of a copyright has a monopoly on the work due to the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution and communication to the public. When the copyright protection expires and the work enters the public domain, all exclusive rights vanish and the former copyright owner is left empty-handed.

On January 1st 2015, the works of the world-famous Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan (along with several other significant artists including Edvard Munch, best known forthe scream) fell into the public domain. The colourful grid work paintings that Mondriaan is so well known for, can now, in prin [...]

Dutch Supreme Court: Cable retransmission has ended, but the levy might be reintroduced

DVisserImportant ruling by Dutch Supreme Court on cable retransmission, film copyright and collective management of rights

Guest blog by Prof. Dr D.J.G. Visser, Institute for Private Law, Leiden University 

“This could well mean that several Dutch collecting societies, in particular those representing actors, screenwriters and directors (Norma, Lira and Vevam) can no longer claim remuneration for cable (re)transmission of programs broadcast by Dutch broadcasters.”

The cable distribution of Dutch television programs as it currently takes place in The Netherlands is no longer a ‘cable retransmission’ in the sense of the EU Satellite and Cable (SatCab) Directive, because it is no longer precede [...]

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