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UK: John Kaldor Fabricmaker v. Lee Ann Fashions, High Court of England and Wales, Chancery Division, [2014] EWHC 3779 (IPEC), 21 November 2014

A claim for infringement of copyright and design rights failed. There was no good reason to reject evidence that the fabric in question was created without sight of the claimant’s fabric; the similarities between the designs were not sufficient to infer that there had been subconscious copying.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

Popcorn Time – a website blocking order decision with a slightly different flavour

Blum_Jeremy2Another blocking order in the UK, however, this time there was some complexity about the actual acts of infringement. In Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & Ors v Sky UK Ltd & Ors, the High Court considered the circumstances in which website blocking orders should be granted against websites facilitating the use of a “sophisticated and user friendly” application known as Popcorn Time, which uses the BitTorrent protocol to obtain infringing film and TV content from one or more host websites. Although the court ultimately granted the order on the basis of joint tortfeasance, on the particular facts of this application the court did not consider that infringing acts of communication to [...]

TV Catchup in CJEU Repeat

Savvides_TheoIn a decision that could have serious implications for websites providing real time streaming of free to air broadcasts, the English Court of Appeal has recently handed down its Judgment in the case of ITV Broadcasting Limited and others v TV Catchup Limited and others [2015] EWCA Civ 204.  The outcome is that the action brought by a number of British free to air broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) against TV Catchup, an internet TV streaming service, has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) for a second time. 


Readers may remember that this case has already been referred to the CJEU (Case C-607/11), who held that the concept of c [...]

UK: Extended Collective Licensing

Dinusha Mendis - Victoria StoboOn the 1st October 2014, the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations 2014 came into force in the UK.1  

Licensing bodies and collecting societies already operate within the UK, providing rights management and licensing services for their rightsholder members across a range of sectors including publishing, art and design, music and performance.2  Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) occurs where a collecting society is granted permission to license specific kinds of copyright works across an entire sector, thereby representing the interests of non-member rightsholders in addition to those of their own members. ECL was first developed in the Nordic co [...]

UK Supreme Court Asks CJEU Whether the Internet is Legal

angelopoulos“Before finalising its decision however, it is seeking the CJEU’s input on whether end users, who view web-pages on their computers without downloading or printing them, are committing infringements of copyright if they lack a licence from the rightholder.”

On 29 June 2013 the UK Supreme Court referred a series of questions in Case C-360/13 Public Relations Consultants Association Limited v The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited and others, otherwise known as the Meltwater case, to the Court of Justice of the EU. The case examines whether Meltwater News, an electronic media monitoring service, was implicating its subscribers in copyright infringement by distributing reports that include [...]

To register or not to register?

On 27 September, the Dutch government introduced what at first glance would seem an inconsequential proposal, e.g. to amend the Register Act of 1970 whereby the possibility for legal and natural persons to register their copyright protected work at the tax office will be eliminated. Should the Dutch proposal be adopted, the registration of private deeds will be limited to those acts concerning subject matter for which registration is a legal formality.

The reasoning behind this proposal is that a deed that witnesses an agreement between two parties has probative force between the parties whether the deed is registered or not. Registration of a work or an invention offers no independent cop [...]

A Norwich Pharmacal order

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 26 March 2012,  Golden Eye (International) Ltd v Telefonica UK Ltd.

Copyright owners (‘owners of the copyrights in pornographic films’) brought a claim for Norwich Pharmacal relief (“If through no fault of his own a person gets mixed up in the tortious acts of others so as to facilitate their wrong-doing he may incur no personal liability but he comes under a duty to assist the person who has been wronged by giving him full information and disclosing the identity of the wrongdoers”) against an internet service provider due to suspicions of peer-to-peer file sharing of their materials by internet users. The object of the claim is to obtain disclosure of [...]

Pass the Dutchie. A case against Musical Youth’s former solicitors

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 23 March 2012, Seaton v Seddon.

The members of the reggae band Musical Youth brought a case against their former solicitors with regards to the royalties due from a hit single: “Pass the Dutchie”. This song was an arrangement of another piece of music, entitled “Pass the Kouchie”. The claim in the present case arose out of an 1984 agreement dividing royalties between the owners of the copyright in the original and the derivative work.

The defendants, who were at the time the claimants’ solicitors, had acted for the owners of the copyright in the original work in the making of that agreement without telling their clients about it. The claimants argued that t [...]

A black and white photograph of a red bus

Patents Court London, 12 January 2012, Temple Island Collections Ltd v New English Teas Ltd & Nicholas John Houghton.

A photograph of a red Routemaster bus travelling across Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament and the bridge shown in gray, which shares visually significant elements with the claimant’s photograph, infringes copyright, despite the fact that it differs at some points in its composition. Claimant’s photograph was published in February 2006 and has been used by the claimant on souvenirs. The defendants produce tea: the company’s best selling packs of tea include tins and cartons bearing images of ‘Icons of England’.

Determining infringement, requires a qualitativ [...]

UK: Films included in a broadcast

High Court Chancery Division, 3 February 2012, Football Association Premier League v QC Leisure. Further to a referral to the ECJ on, inter alia, the meaning of “communication to the public” under art. 3 of the Directive 2001/29 (Case C-403/83), the High Court ruled that the showing of broadcasts (football matches) via television screens and speakers in public houses infringes the right to communicate to the public those broadcasts. However, sec. 72 of the CDPA states unambiguously that the act of showing in public of a broadcast does not infringe the copyrights in the films included in it.

“78. In my judgment s.72(1)(c) means what it says. The showing or playing of a broadcast in a public [...]

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