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Filtering away infringement: copyright, injunctions & the role of ISPs

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“The underlying key question – can technology solve this problem and, if so, should technology be allowed to determine law? – remains unanswered.”

On 2-4 July 2014 Information Influx, the 25th anniversary conference of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) was held in Amsterdam.

As part of the conference, on the morning of Thursday, 3 July a panel entitled Filtering away Infringement: Copyright, Injunctions and the Role of ISPs was held. The panel was set up as a mini mock trial of a topic that has been especially controversial in the area of online copyright infringement in recent years, particularly in Europe: that of injunctive orders imposed on internet intermediaries for the [...]

Blog Poll results: the private copying system

blog-poll--levies-2We have closed our second blog poll and we have counted the votes. First of all, it is heartwarming to see that more readers are concerned about the position of orphans than about private copying: whereas our first blog poll about the orphan works directive attracted a few thousand voters, this second poll  closed with a result of just a few hundred votes.

A fairly reasonable amount. Questions in online polls are often short and snappy, and we realize that our 8 questions about Ms Francoise Castex’s  motion, Antonió Vitorino’s report and the implications of the Padawan decision were perhaps less easy  to digest.

Summarized in short: According to  the European Parliament, private c [...]

CJEU in UPC Telekabel Wien: A totally legal court order…to do the impossible

Christina-Angelopoulos“This indicates the main danger of the ruling, that of fragmentation. This was foreseen by the Austrian referring court, which suggested that guidelines assessing the proportionality of blocking measures be laid down by the CJEU – that would have been welcome indeed! That absence is certainly the biggest deficiency of the ruling.”

Last Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment on Austria’s Oberster Gerichtshof reference for a preliminary ruling in Case C-314/12, UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH.   

The case begun when film production companies Constantin Film Verheih and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft GmbH noticed their copy [...]

Switzerland proposes new measures against piracy

Yani BenhamouThe Swiss working group on Copyright (AGUR12) released his report on December 2013 related to management of rights at the digital age. This should lead to a legal basis for a notice and takedown procedure and thus reduce the supply of illegal content, while downloading from illegal sources should remain legal.

The original mandate goes back to a postulate referred by the Federal Council Simonetta Sommaruga on August 2012 to optimize the collective management of rights, in particular to adapt copyright law to technical developments. After more than a year of discussion, representatives of artists, economists and consumers made nine recommendations, addressed either to rightholders and collec [...]

Czech Supreme Court: Embedding is communication to the public

Martin HusovecIn February this year, the Czech Supreme Court ruled that a mere posting of an embedded link that links to copyright-protected material, must be regarded as a communication to the public and therewith as a direct copyright infringement. The Court was either unaware of pending cases in Luxembourg, or too impatient to wait for the CJEU. Paradoxically, whatever the response of CJEU in BestWater C-348/13 will be, the Czech court cannot be said to be wrong with regard to the direct infringement issue.

A few weeks ago, the Czech Constitutional Court (III. ÚS 1768/13) rejected a constitutional complaint of a young man, who was found guilty of copyright infringement by all court instances, includin [...]

Switzerland: No special law for social networks

Yani Benhamou“The report reflects the general tendency of Swiss legislative authorities to avoid legislative process and to favor a flexible approach of existing regulations.”

The Swiss Federal Council reported a few weeks ago, in response to a postulate referred by the National Council in 2011 related to the legal situation of social media, that Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs present legislation with new challenges but cannot be overcome by a separate special law. However a detailed examination will be carried out to determine whether new regulations are needed. This relates to the enforcement of the law, the liability of service providers and some aspects of data protection.

Proble [...]

France- Dailymotion heavily fined for the late removal of infringing content

On 13 September 2012, three months after the first ruling in a case opposing the French TV channel, TF1, to YouTube, the Paris Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Grande Instance) issued a second judgment in a case opposing the same TV channel to Dailymotion. The facts of the two cases are quite similar but the conclusions of the Court differ. In the first case, the Court dismissed the TF1′s claims (copyright and related rights infringements) although the Court acknowledged the liability of YouTube for the late removal of duly notified infringing content. In the second case, not only did the Court find Dailymotion liable but the Court also sanctioned the platform by awarding a substantial a [...]

France: Google can be ordered to filter words linking to online piracy websites

According to the Supreme Court, through its service of Google Suggest, Google had not infringed any copyright but had provided the means to infringe copyright.’

In 2010 Google was sued by the French recording industry trade association (SNEP) for copyright and neighbouring right infringements via its service Google Suggest. The Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal both rejected the claims. They found that Google had not infringed any copyright by suggesting websites to Internet users when they were typing their requests. Only the use of the files available on the suggested websites could have been infringing. The plaintiff had originally requested the Court of First Instance [...]

France: The Court of Cassation puts an end to the Notice and Stay Down Rule

Lower courts have shifted from a notice and take down rule (provided by the e-commerce Directive and the LCEN) to a notice and stay down rule (created by the judges). This interpretation was confirmed in 2011 by the Paris Court of Appeal. However, on 12 July 2012, the Court of Cassation put an end to this judge-made law by issuing its eagerly awaited position on that issue.

July has been a busy month for the French Supreme Court. On 12 July 2012, the Court of Cassation issued four interesting decisions. The three first ones relate to the obligations of online intermediaries concerning subsequent publications of infringing materials and will be the topic of this blogpost; whereas the fourth d [...]

The Donner case and the “target country” principle

“A generalised principle of the “targeted” country might well become a recognised point of attachment in copyright conflicts of laws, at least in cases where such target jurisdictions can clearly be identified.”

The distribution of industrial products protected by copyright law can amount to a criminal offence as a violation of the distribution right. In CJEU, 21 June 2012, case C 5/11 (Donner), the CJEU clarified the interface between European law and national criminal sanctions in case such products are protected in the country of export but not in the originating country. The CJEU took the view that European legislation does not stand in the way of applying criminal law provisions c [...]

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