Besides tulips, cheese, football and other recreational matters, the Netherlands are famous for its copyright protection of non-original writings. Geschriftenbescherming, as the Dutch call this legal anomaly (and only they know how to pronounce it), is a remnant of an ancient eighteenth-century printer’s right that lives on until this day in the Dutch Copyright Act…

The usefulness of a computer program is not sufficient to characterise the originality of the program. There is nothing more subjective, and often arbitrary and unfair, than the notion on which copyright protection is based: originality. Under French law, the Intellectual Property Code protects “the rights of authors in all works of the mind, whatever…

“What seems to lack in the decision of the Court, at the end of the day, is a clear test of what constitutes a structural element in the ’embryonic stage’. Last 19 October 2012, the Italian Supreme Court published a decision on a case of plagiarism related to a literary work which told the true…

On 26 January 2012, the Belgian Supreme Court decided to quash an appeal decision deeming that “when requiring that a work must show the stamp of the author’s personality in order to benefit from copyright protection, the judges of appeal do not validate their decision in law”. According to the Supreme Court, a literary or…

By Mireille van Eechoud, Institute for Information Law (IViR) 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…

The Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-145/10, Painer v Standard VerlagsGmbH et al., parts of which have already been discussed in an earlier blog post (here), also deals with the copyrightability of portrait photos. In this case, German and Austrian newspaper publishers had published portrait photos of Natascha Kampusch, and a photo-fit based on one…

By Luke McDongagh, PhD Candidate, QMIPRI The Irish Times has recently reported that the Joyce estate has, after many years of refusal, finally granted the English singer Kate Bush permission to use the famous Molly Bloom soliloquy from James Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses as the lyrical basis for a song. The soliloquy, spoken at the…

What is and what is not a copyright work is a question even copyright lawyers find difficult to answer when confronted with subject matter on the verge of the required standard of originality. Polish copyright law has quite a long tradition of setting the threshold rather low, which may encourage frivolous lawsuits forcing courts to…

Football listings have hit the UK again, this time with an “original” twist.Disputes surrounding football lists never seem to go out of fashion. On 9 December 2010, the High Court yet again was faced with issues of IP protection of football listings and other related statistical football information, subject matter somewhere on the borderline between…