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Poland: Plagiarism, Supreme Court of Poland, V CSK 125/14, 23 January 2015

The Polish Supreme Court held that the use of elements of a work of authorship, which are widely known and available (in the public domain), in another work in which those elements were combined in a different way, constitutes an expression of individual creative thought, and cannot therefore be regarded as an infringement of copyright in the first work (plagiarism).

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

Portugal: TV sets in hotel rooms, Court of Appeal of Lisbon, 163/14.8YHLSB.L1-6, 27 December 2014

The installation of TV sets in hotel rooms, which show videograms through the TV signal distributed by a cable operator, constitutes a public performance and the making available to the public of those videograms.  Consequently, authorisation is required from concerned rightholders and equitable remuneration is payable under the relevant provisions of the Code of Copyright and Related Rights (Articles 178(1)(a) and 184(2)(3)).

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

Poland: Appropriate remuneration for an author, Court of Appeal of Kraków, I ACa 1420/14, 30 December 2014

In determining the amount of remuneration that an author might obtain for the copyright in his photographs, it was necessary to determine the remuneration that he would have received if the person who violated his rights had entered into an agreement with the author concerning the use of the work. Such a determination should be based on the remuneration rates in the photography market, taking into account the quality and the possible usage of these photos.

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

Poland: Derived work, Supreme Court of Poland, I CNP 10/14, 14 November 2014

The Supreme Court held that it is a matter of fact, not law, whether a work created from fragments of another work is a derivative work (according to Article 2 of the Copyright Act) or another kind of non-independently created work. Therefore this type of issue cannot be debated in an action for determining the lawfulness of the court’s judgment. The Supreme Court likewise acknowledged the legality of the appeal court’s views with regard to the applicability of Article 78(2) of the Copyright Act, rather than Article 445 §3 of the Civil Code, in cases where damages are sought after the author’s death. Although this legal issue is questionable in the Polish literature, the Supreme Court recog [...]

Bulgaria: Commercial case No.199 of 2014, Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria, 218, 16 June 2015

The time at which extraction from an electronic database takes place is the time at which the materials being extracted are placed on a medium other than that of the original database, independently of whether they are placed there permanently or temporarily (Case 545/07, Apis Hristovih EOOD v. Lakorda AD, paragraph 45). The time of extraction is essential for civil proceedings for infringement of database rights and the burden to prove this specific moment lies with the claimant (in addition to proving the fact of infringement). In proceedings for infringement of database rights the content of the respective databases should be compared as at the time of claimed extraction.

Where the claima [...]

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 [...]

Italy: Riccardo Pagani v. Leo Burnett Company S.r.l., Ordinary Court of Turin, 32855/2014, 31 March 2015

The Court of Turin held that the main idea for a finished work (a TV commercial for the FIAT 500) had been developed in an initial project carried out by the claimant and that this project was the basis for the subsequent authors’ work.  Consequently, the commercial was evidentially a development of his original idea.  His work was therefore entitled to copyright protection in line with Article 1 of the Italian Copyright Law which protects works ‘whatever their mode or form of expression’ and he was entitled to be named as a co-author of the advertisement.

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

UK: 1967 Ltd v. British Sky Broadcasting Ltd., High Court of England and Wales, Chancery Division, Case No.: HC14C02952, 23 October 2014

This case concerned blocking orders pursuant to s97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). The Court found that there was copyright infringement by both UK users and operators of file-sharing websites, insofar as there was communication of copyright works, the communication was to the public, and the act of communication took place in the UK.  This was the case not only for the websites that allowed users to upload torrent files but also for those that only aggregated links to torrent files on other websites.  Further, the operators of the websites were also held to authorise the infringing acts of their UK users and to be jointly liable for infringements by the users. [...]

UK: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp v. Sky UK Ltd, High Court of England and Wales, Chancery Division, [2015] EWHC 1082 (Ch), 28 April 2015

The claimants, all members of the Motion Picture Association of America holding copyright in a large number of films and TV programmes, were granted a blocking order preventing the use of Popcorn Time, an open source streaming application which used the BitTorrent protocol to download the claimants’ copyright content.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law and this case is discussed on the Kluwer Copyright Blog here.

Ireland: Playboy v. EMN, High Court of Ireland, 2014 207 P, 19 February 2015

The plaintiff alleged infringement under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (CRRA 2000), breach of trademark, breach of contract, breach of moral rights, breach of confidence and interference with economic relations. The court held that under the statutory claim (s37 and S40 of the CRRA 2000) it is incumbent on the plaintiff to sufficiently mirror the language of the act.  The defendant is entitled to know under what part of the act the claim arises and whether any of the forms of making available under s40 have occurred. The plaintiff was ordered to submit the exclusive licence that it claimed in the works concerned and to reframe their submission using the language of the CRRA 20 [...]

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