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Who owns the World Cup? The case for and against (intellectual) property rights in sports.

KCB 490 Bently IVIR influx 
During the recent  25th anniversary  conference of  the IViR (2-4 July in Amsterdam) many interesting lectures were given and many intriguing panel discussions were held. In the unfortunate case you missed the conference, you can find several  fotos and videos of the event on the webpage of the conference and on  IViR’s YouTube channel.

Readers of this blog already know that the last day of the conference, just after the splendid closing keynote by James Boyle, a panel was dedicated to an event very high in (almost) everybody’s minds, at least at that time – the 4th of July was the day of the FIFA World Cup quarter finals.

The title of the panel was “Who owns the world cup? T [...]

French Supreme Court on 5(2) BC: national law determines who is the copyright owner

Brad-Spitz“The law of the country where protection is sought governs all matters relating to the exercise and enjoyment of copyright, including the determination of the rights holder.”

Article 5(2) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works provides that “The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality; such enjoyment and such exercise shall be independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection, as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of [...]

France: Presumption of ownership extended to neighbouring rights

Brad-Spitz“In the absence of any claim from the phonogram producer, or its assigns, the natural or legal person who publicly, peacefully and unambiguously exploits recordings, is deemed to be the holder of the rights in the recordings as regards third parties against whom an infringement case is brought.”

The French Intellectual Property Code deals with copyright and neighbouring rights separately. As regards copyright, the French case law has long established a presumption of ownership to facilitate infringement proceedings initiated by natural or legal persons who exploit copyrighted works against alleged infringers.

On the grounds of article L.113-5 of the Intellectual Property Code, which provides [...]

Presumption of authorship: only natural persons

Estonian Supreme Court, 7 February 2012, Case No3-2-1-155-11,  Herlitz PBS AG vs. Realister OÜ (plaintiff in the prededing proceeding).

The Estonian Supreme Court found in its recent judgement in the Realister case that the presumption of authorship as laid down in the Sections 4(6) and 29(1) of the Estonian Copyright Act (hereinafter referred to as the CA) is only applicable in case the right holder relying on the presumption of authorship is a natural person, who has created the work, not a legal person who has obtained the economical rights under the law or a contract.

In this case the owner of the authors’ economical rights is a legal person that claims to have economical copyrights [...]

Cultural heritage institutions concerned over proposed European orphan works directive

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 [...]

UK: The photographs are pictures of drugs

Patents Court London, 19 January 2012, Hoffman v Drug Abuse Resistance Education. A charity infringed copyright in photographs by including them in its website withouth the author’s permission. The fact that the charity was under a good-faith impression that it had permission to use the photographs, as they appeared in a website that was covered by Crown copyright, did not prevent the finding of infringement. Moreover, the innocence defence can apply as a bar to damages only when it can be shown that, at the time of the infringement, the defendant did not know, or had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work (CDPA, sec. 97). However, the defence does not apply when one beli [...]

Will out-of-commerce books soon be managed by a collective management society in France?

A new proposal of law on the digital exploitation of (commercially) unavailable books of the 20th Century (proposition de loi relative à l’exploitation numérique des livres indisponibles du XX° siècle) has been introduced quasi-simultaneously in the Senate and in the National Assembly.

According to the preamble of the proposal, about 500 000 books published during the 20th Century are out of print (for commercial and economic reasons) and only available in libraries. To ensure their dissemination, their digitisation becomes necessary. However, a major uncertainty subsists concerning their copyright status and ownership. Most of the publishing contracts, which are granting rights of exp [...]

UK: Future v. Edge (High Court Chancery Division), 13 june 2011

Edge LogoUK: Future Publishing Ltd v. Edge Interactive Media Inc., High Court Chancery Division, 13 June 2011.

Copyright in logo: US companies involved in the business of computer games had infringed copyright in the logo of a computer gaming magazine (“EDGE”), by using it on letterhead, website and games. The Court found the logo sufficiently original to qualify for copyright protection. Defendant’s use amounted to copyright infringement, passing-off and breach of a trading agreement with the publisher of the magazine. (Stavroula Karapapa &  Maurizio Borghi, Brunel University).

For the full text of this case click here.

A summary of this case will be posted on soon.

The Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Orphan Works

On 24 May 2011, the European Commission announced a proposal for a directive on ‘certain permitted uses of orphan works’. This title perfectly conveys the scope of the proposal. Rather than adopting a generic approach to deal with the problem of orphan works, the Commission comes up with a set of measures designed for specific situations in which the problem is considered to be particularly urgent, namely, in relation to mass digitisation projects. This follows from the Commission’s objective to create a legal framework to ensure the lawful cross-border online access to orphan works contained in online digital libraries or archives and used in the pursuit of the public interest mission [...]

SABAM v. B.K., Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), 30 March 2011

BELGIUM – In a case of SABAM (the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers) versus a counterfeits dealer, the Belgian Supreme Courts finds that in litigations against copyright infringers, collecting societies can prove the existence of management contracts pertaining to some works by solely producing the official repertoire listing that they mandatorily have to keep updated.

For the full text of this case click here

A summary of this case will be posted on soon

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