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Thumbnails: French proposal for payment of royalties by search engines

Brad-SpitzIn France, search engines using thumbnails are likely to infringe on copyright. On 8 April 2014, a French Senator proposed a Bill to establish compulsory collective management for the reproduction of photographs and images by search engine services.

Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of photographs and images, used by search engines such as Google Images in order to facilitate their recognition and organisation, with links to the websites where the photographs and images are published.

Such reproduction of photographs and other works is likely to constitute fair use under the US Copyright Act of 1976 (see Meng Ding, Perfect 10 v Amazon.com: A Step Toward Copyright’s Tort Law Roots, Berk [...]

First Blog Poll: Orphan works and cultural heritage institutions

blog-poll-1---200PXA relatively new feature on the different Kluwer Legal Blogs (e.g. the KluwerPatentBlog and the KluwerArbitrationBlog) is the so-called legal Blog Poll.

Not only because it is always nice to hear what the communis opinio is about recent developments in jurisprudence and legislative procedures or about new or revived theories and ideas, but also to initiate or to stir a discussion.

You will find our first poll below and in the right column of this site. If you want, you can attach your name to your survey answers. If you want the result to be anonymous, just leave out your name and email address. If you have additional comments, you can either mail them to us or leave them in the comment sect [...]

On copyright levies, printers, plotters and personal computers (VG Wort v Kyocera and others)

quintais“In essence, the disputes relate to the collecting societies’ intent to have intermediary suppliers pay levies on computers, printers and or plotters marketed in Germany. The suppliers, for their part, argued that some of the devices in question (namely printers and plotters) are incapable of autonomous copying.”

On June 27, 2013, the CJEU delivered its judgement in Joined Cases C‑457/11 to C‑460/11, VG Wort v Kyocera and others (VG Wort v Kyocera; see also the press pelease). This judgement was preceded by an Opinion by A.G. Sharpston (delivered on January 24, 2013) and comes in a particularly busy period for private copying and reprography levies, which has seen not only the publ [...]

Denmark: Infopaq-case finally decided after eight years

Maria-FredenslundIn a recent judgment, following the preliminary Infopaq-rulings of the European Court of Justice, the Danish Supreme Court ruled that extracts of newspaper articles comprising no more than 11 words can be works protected by copyright. The use of extracts that are the results of a process of data capture undertaken by the media analysis company Infopaq International A/S (now Infomedia) constitutes copyright infringement, unless prior consent from right holders has been obtained.

The judgement of the Danish Supreme Court is the outcome of an eight-year dispute between Infopaq and Danske Dagblades Forening (Danish Daily Newspapers Association). The core of the dispute concerned Infopaq’s righ [...]

On copyright and rights of persons with disabilities: WIPO treaty for the blind

Tatiana-Sinodinou“The road to Marrakesh is open but is not paved with roses and the outcome of the negotiations is awaited with both hope and reservations. “

While some statistics demonstrate that only about 5% of all published books are available in accessible formats for print disabled people globally, 2013 promises to be a landmark year in the combat against this scarcity of reading sources for visually impaired people. A scarcity that is often referred to as ‘book famine’.

On April, 20, 2013 the Informal Session and Special Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is expected to have prepared a revised and maybe final version of the draft text of a Treaty to F [...]

Can e-lending land itself a spot under the public lending right?

elending-ebooks“However, in none of the studied countries, e-lending activities rely on a statutory copyright or lending right exception.”

By Kelly Breemen and Vicky Breemen, Institute for Information Law, Amsterdam (IViR).

Public libraries in various countries are increasingly involved in e-lending practices. Thus far, these practices are largely based on contractual agreements between the parties concerned rather than on a copyright exception or limitation. But why would public libraries not be allowed to lend e-books under the same conditions that apply to physical books, that is, without prior authorization but against equitable remuneration?

In the context of plans for developing a national digita [...]

Events of high interest: exclusive broadcasting rights and freedom of information

spedicatoThe CJEU states that Article 15(6) of Directive 2010/13/EU on short news reports is compatible with Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

On 22 January 2013 the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down a decision on the compatibility of Article 15(6) of Directive 2010/13/EU – according to which the compensation that holders of exclusive broadcasting rights are entitled to seek for granting other broadcasters the right to access events of high interest to the public for the purpose of short news reports «shall not exceed the additional costs directly incurred in providing access» – is compatible with Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of [...]

France: Part of law on private copying levy is unconstitutional

jasserandOn 15 January 2013, the French Constitutional Council declared unconstitutional Article 6, paragraph II, of the law on private copying levy (Law No. 2011-1898).

This provision retroactively validated private copying levies that had been paid or claimed based on rates annulled by the French Council of State. To fully understand the ruling of the Constitutional Council, it is necessary to explain the background of this provision.

Back in 2008, the Private Copying Commission (Commission pour la rémunération de la copie privée) set new levy rates in its Decision No. 11. On 17 June 2011, the Council of State annulled that decision on the grounds that products acquired by professionals for a pu [...]

ECHR: Copyright vs. freedom of expression

Dirk Voorhoof   and  Inger Hoedt-RasmussenECtHR (5th section), 10 January 2013, case of Ashby Donald and others v. France, Appl. nr. 36769/08.

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University and Inger Høedt-Rasmussen, Copenhagen Business School.

“Although the European Court did not find a violation of Article 10 in the case of Ashby Donald and others v. France, the judgment in this case has definitely confirmed that copyright enforcement, restrictions on the use of copyright protected works and sanctions based on copyright law ultimately can be regarded as interferences with the right of freedom of expression and information.”

For the first time in a judgment on the merits, the European Court of Human Rights has clarified that a conviction base [...]

It never rains, but it pours: Spanish Private Copying Levy passes its cost to all taxpayers

Breaking news. More than a year after Congress repealed the private copying levy, the Spanish Government agreed yesterday to begin paying taxes on blank media such as DVDs, CDs, pen drives and camera phones through a budget allotment.

The Ministry of Culture would be in charged of determining each year how much should be allotted to cover the excise tax, which would be introduced to compensate artists who saw their royalties shrink due to the ease of online file sharing and downloads.

In 2011, Congress repealed the law, which had been severely criticized by the European Union Court of Justice, who said it was not in line with EU legislation.

By paying the tax through budget allotments, the c [...]

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