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The Next Great Copyright Act: Remember the Authors!

This article was originally published on the Media Institute website – see here.  It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.

In a previous column for the Media Institute (Feb. 17, 2015), I urged that any copyright reform legislation that emerges from the preparations for “the next great copyright act” should ensure both authors’ attribution and economic interests.  The earlier column addressed attribution; this column will consider remuneration, a matter that has lately been the subject of copyright reform in the Netherlands and France as well.

The Anglo-American legal tradition, not generally known for solicitude toward the weaker party in contract negotiations, [...]

ECJ: Auction houses may transfer cost of artist’s resale royalties to the buyer

Brad-SpitzAn auction house may transfer the responsibility of paying the artist’s ‘droit de suite’ from the seller to the buyer.

This judgment, rendered by the European Court of Justice on 26 February 2015 in response to a reference from the French Supreme Court, will satisfy the auction houses and art dealers in Europe (Christie’s France SNC v Syndicat national des antiquaires, Case C-41/14). The ECJ has held that under Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art, the seller or an art market professional involved in a transaction may agree with any other person, including the buyer, that the said other person will bear the [...]

Artist’s Resale Rights: French preliminary question to the ECJ

Brad-SpitzCan an auction house transfer the responsibility of paying the resale right royalty from the seller to the buyer?

Directive 2001/84/EC created a resale right (‘droit de suite’) in the EU for the benefit of the author of an original work of art. This resale right is ‘defined as an inalienable right, which cannot be waived, even in advance, to receive a royalty based on the sale price obtained for any resale of the work, subsequent to the first transfer of the work by the author’ (Article 1). The directive was adopted in 2001 but only came into force on 1 January 2010.

Article 1(4) of Directive 2001/84/EC states that ‘The royalty shall be payable by the seller’, and that Member St [...]

Downloading from Unlawful Sources. Reflections following the Villalón Opinion on AciAdam and Others.

Downloading illegal

This blog post discusses the recent Opinion by Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón in Case C-435/12 – ACI Adam and Others, delivered on 9 January 2014 (not available in English).

In this case, Advocate General Villalón considered whether reproductions from unlawful sources fall within the private copying exception of art. 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29/EC (Copyright Directive), as well as whether it is in line with the Directive to calculate the private copying levy based on reproductions from both lawful and unlawful sources. (All legal provisions cited hereinafter refer to this legal instrument, unless otherwise stated). The questions referred also relate to the effect of the application [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

No separate remuneration for renewal of library book loan

Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 23 November 2012,  Foundation for Public Lending vs. Association of Public Libraries.

Lending right.  According to the Supreme Court of The Netherlands there is no legal obligation to pay a separate  remuneration  for a renewal of a library book loan and the extension of  the due date.  Plaintiff, the Foundation for Public Lending, a collective society, sued the Association of Public Libraries and argued that  the refusal to collect such a separate payment was contrary to the three-step test.

The Supreme Court ruled that the payment of remuneration based on art. 15g of the Dutch Copyright Act (DCA) is not to be  determined by the number factual loans [...]

First hotel rooms, then dental practice, and now spa establishments

“When providing healthcare in healthcare facilities, there is no obligation to pay remuneration for communication to the public of copyright works. But, is a hotel room where occasionally health treatment is performed a healthcare facility?”

On 24 July 2012, Krajský soud v Plzni (Czech Republic) lodged a reference for preliminary ruling with the CJEU in case C-351/12, Ochranný svaz autorský pro práva k dílům hudebním, o.s. (OSA) v Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně, a.s., referring three questions dealing with separate issues related to a case taking place between a Czech collecting society and a business providing spa services, including both accommodation and healthcare servic [...]

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