By Benjamin Schütze, Institute of Legal Informatics, Leibniz Universität Hannover
“Since its introduction in 2003, the provision marks the centre of a controversy between schools and institutions of higher education and copyright holders, especially publishing houses marketing a scientific – educational portfolio.”
About the right to make available small parts of a work for illustration purposes for teaching in schools and higher education and how it is interpreted by OLG Stuttgart in Alfred Kröner Verlag GmbH & Co. KG v Fernuniversität in Hagen (4 U 171/11).
The dispute between the parties centres on the question of whether Fernuniversität Hagen shall be permitted under § 52a Germ [...]
It has been more than three years now since the infamous idea of a new neighbouring right for press publishers appeared in the coalition agreement of the second Merkel government out of thin air. On the face of it, the approach seemed somewhat reasonable: To give press publishers a neighbouring right just like the ones enjoyed by other key players of content production, f.e. film and phonogram producers.
First ideas for an implementation circled around a kind of online press levy, to be payed by any commercial or public entity. There were reports about the respective collecting socie [...]
“With a bit of pathos one may say that the CJEU has restored the old exhaustion principle to its full glory in the digital age. In order to do so the Court did not hesitate to be adventurous with legal interpretation and has also opened new fields for discussion.”
On July 3 the CJEU delivered its judgement in the UsedSoft case concerning the question that according to the recital 29 of the 2001/29 directive “does not arise”, i.e. the question about ‘online exhaustion’. When it, however, arose and when the CJEU answered it, there are only bits and pieces of the traditional copyright wisdom to be collected and discarded. Not so long ago I reported the Advocate General’s opinion in th [...]
Literary works, photos, films and music and other items that constitute our common cultural heritage are stored in the collections of cultural institutions, such as publicly accessible libraries, museums and archives. Many of these items are still protected by copyright, but their right holders cannot be identified or located – i.e. the works are so-called “orphan works”. This leads to a situation where cultural institutions that strive to digitize and make the parts of their collections still “in copyright” available via the internet risk being sued for infringement if the rightholders should reappear. This may cause many cultural institutions to refrain from digitizing and making ava [...]
Copyright law has developed in close connection with technological evolution. This is particularly true of digital technologies, especially the Internet, which, since the mid-1990s, has generated both vast opportunities and enormous challenges for the copyright system. Geographical distance is no longer an obstacle to the dissemination of works, which can now take place at virtually no cost. This has provided creators and their commercial partners with new means to exploit their rights, and it has opened the door to new forms of infringement, some of which have proved difficult to combat. To a large extent these opportunities and challenges relate to the territorial nature of copyright appli [...]
Without much noise, France recently adopted Act Nr. 2012-287 of 1st March 2012 relating to the digital exploitation of unavailable books of the 20th century. Contrary to past initiatives from the French lawmaker, the Act does not relate to orphan works, but rather to out-of-commerce works. Or, more precisely: books.
According to the explanatory memorandum to the Proposal, France is the first country in the world to put in place a modern and efficient mechanism to regulate the use of unavailable works, which forms today’s biggest obstacle to the digitization of cultural heritage. The French solution is presented as offering a response to the rejected Google settlement in the United States.
On 15 March 2012 the CJEU has ruled two cases where it had been asked to decide whether producers of phonograms (or the collecting society on their behalf) are entitled to obtain equitable remuneration when a user allows its clients to hear the phonogram by way of background music in a place subject to his control.
The first case, referred by the Court of Appeal of Turin (Italy), involved Società Consortile Fonografici (SCF), the Italian society that collects and distributes to artists and phonogram producers the royalties for the use in public of recorded music, and Mr. Marco Del Corso, a dentist who used to broadcast background music from the radio in the waiting room of his private denta [...]
The Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works, introduced in the European Parliament on 24 May 2011, has been following its merry way through the legislative meanders ever since. The debates around the text of the proposal are heating up right now, for the European Commission pushes for rapid adoption while stakeholders watch out against any measure possibly affecting their respective interests.
Already since the beginning of this year, the Danish Presidency has published two revised compromise proposals, one on 6 January and the second one on 10 February 2012. The last proposal was followed by a Presidency non-paper on a possible single database for orphan works for [...]
On May 22 of this year Directive 2001/29/EC was exactly 10 years old – a birthday largely gone unnoticed. The ‘Copyright Directive’ or ‘Information Society Directive’ (for experts: ‘InfoSoc Directive’) marked an important stage in the process of harmonization of copyright and related rights in the European Union. In contrast to earlier directives that dealt with distinct – mostly technology driven – issues , such as computer software, databases, satellite and cable television, this directive sought to harmonize the main rights and limitations in a largely technology-neutral way.
The main aim of the Directive, as stated in its recital no. 4, was to foster creativity and grow [...]
Of the many questions addressed by the Court in its Painer judgment (Case C-145/10) the most impact will probably be on the construction of an EU wide originality criterion for copyright works.
Infopaq, BSA and Murphy went before, seemingly extending the originality standard implicit in the Software Directive and the Database Directive to all works of authorship. Now the standard of art. 6 Term Directive, morphed to a ‘personal touch stamp’ seems the latest generic test. Which is odd, considering that art. 6 Term Directive’s primary function is to set a harmonized term of copyright protection for works of photography, distin [...]