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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 [...]

Germany: No Digitisation without Reproduction

benjamin-schuetzeOn 16th April 2015 the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) delivered its final judgment in a lengthy legal standoff, which began its journey through the judiciary in 2009. The judgment is not yet available but is discussed in a press release here.  Since that time libraries and publishing houses have fought with one another over the meaning of access to digital content, the right to reproduction and traditional copyright exploitation schemes. The dispute at hand revolved around Sec. 52b of the German Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz), containing a statutory copyright limitation which permits certain institutions such as public libraries, museums and archives to make published works of w [...]

Blocking Marrakesh: an argument based on a house of cards

Ana-Ramalho Back in April 2014, following the Council’s authorization, the EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (“Marrakesh Treaty”). Under the Treaty, parties are to adopt copyright exceptions to facilitate access to formats of works accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. Countries must moreover provide for the cross-border exchange of accessible-format works.

There were however no less than 7 Member States that considered that the Treaty fell under an area of shared competence between the EU and the Member States. According to the opposing Member State [...]

Flexibility. Is it all a matter of methodology and assumptions?

Image from page 53 of "American Fence, Catalog no. 27" (1915) Benjamin Gibert’s report for the Lisbon Council entitled ‘The 2015 Intellectual Property and Economic Growth Index: Measuring the Impact of Exceptions and Limitations in Copyright on Growth, Jobs and Prosperity’ raised eyebrows in The Netherlands. Not that the conclusion that ‘countries that employ a broadly “flexible” regime of exceptions in copyright also see higher rates of growth in value-added output throughout their economy’ came as a surprise, but no one ever expected The Netherlands to score lower than France on the topic of flexibility in copyright! Really!

How to explain my and other Dutch copyright experts’ dismay at this finding? Would the answer perhaps lie in the methodolo [...]

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 [...]

Public libraries: the right to digitise and the right of reproduction

Svetlana Yakovleva“What the Court did not consider though, is that the outcome of the application of the 3-step test to the digitisation of each individual work for the purposes of making it available for research and private study purposes may conflict with the absolute prohibition of digitising the entire collection.”

Judgment CJEU of 11 September 2014, Technische Universität Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG (C-117/13). Request for a preliminary ruling from German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice).

The CJEU confirms the ancillary right of public libraries to digitise books from their collection in order to make them available by dedicated terminals without the rightholder’s consent. However, in the [...]

The concept of parody and the legitimate interests of parodists and copyright holders

Philippe-LaurentJudgment CJEU, 3 September 2014, Deckmyn and Vrijheidsfonds (C-201/13). Request for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van Beroep te Brussel (Belgium).

Belgian copyright law provides that “once a work has been lawfully published, its author may not prohibit caricature, parody and pastiche, observing fair practices”. This provision, which existed before the adoption of the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29/CE, and which has not been modified by the implementation of the latter, was clearly subject to interpretation (especially the last three words : “observing fair practices”).

Belgian Courts and Tribunals have therefore progressively established many conditions to be met in order to successfu [...]

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 [...]

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