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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, [...]

TV Catchup in CJEU Repeat

Savvides_TheoIn a decision that could have serious implications for websites providing real time streaming of free to air broadcasts, the English Court of Appeal has recently handed down its Judgment in the case of ITV Broadcasting Limited and others v TV Catchup Limited and others [2015] EWCA Civ 204.  The outcome is that the action brought by a number of British free to air broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) against TV Catchup, an internet TV streaming service, has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) for a second time. 

Background

Readers may remember that this case has already been referred to the CJEU (Case C-607/11), who held that the concept of c [...]

Fordham Conference 2015 – Governments and IP

Lord Hoffman (former Court of Appeal judge and presently at Queen Mary University) spoke about what can be done to harmonise the law. He said that the governments of most jurisdictions accept that judges have some choice in how the law is developed. There is then a range of views of how much regard should be had of foreign decisions. Lord Hoffman stated that, although he thinks taking account of foreign judgments smacks of showing off, there are practical (and commercial) advantages in making English IP law the same as other jurisdictions (although he was less keen on this in constitutional or commercial law). In Europe there is advantage in the fact that the same text falls to be interprete [...]

Tank Man hits the Constitutional Court

bielik-photoRegular readers of this blog will be familiar with an earlier decision by the Slovak Supreme Court about unauthorised use of a famous Tank Man picture in the Slovak media. The case has now hit the Slovak Constitutional Court, thus providing it with the first ever opportunity to discuss the interface of copyright and freedom of expression. And it is very interesting reading.

Some background first. In 1968, when Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia following the Prague Spring, the Tank Man picture was splashed across the front page of major newspapers globally. It was taken by a young photographer, Ladislav Bielik, and showed a bare-chested man in front of the occupiers’ tank who was ready to be sho [...]

Who will C More? Broadcasters, users or unauthorised website portals?

Blum_Jeremy2On 26 March, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down Case C-279/13 C More Entertainment, the latest decision regarding the right of communication to the public in the context of websites providing links to content. In this particular case, C More provided live broadcasts of ice hockey matches on the Internet for payment of a fee. The defendant created links on its website to the C More live broadcasts and circumvented the paywall thus allowing its users to have live access to the broadcasts.

When the case of C More was initially referred, the fashionable focus on the nature of internet hyperlinks was in full swing. There were already pending references for Svensson  [...]

Everything you always wanted to know about private copying but were afraid to ask (Case C-463/12 Copydan Båndkopi v Nokia Danmark A/S)

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On March 5, 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ‘Court’ or ‘CJEU’) ruled on Case C-463/12 Copydan Båndkopi v Nokia Danmark A/S (‘Copydan’). The case marks the seventh occasion on which the Court has ruled on the issue of the private copying limitation under art. 5(2)(b) Directive 2001/29/EC (the ‘Directive’), following Padawan, Stichting de Thuiskopie, Luksan, VG Wort, Amazon.com and, most recently, ACI Adam. Currently, at least two more cases are pending: C-572/13 Hewlett-Packard and C-470/14 Egeda.

This blog post is structured as follows. Section 1 briefly discusses Copydan’s background and facts, while clarifying the issues examined by the Advocate Ge [...]

Russia’s New Anti-piracy Law. Throwing the Baby out with the Bath Water?

Svetlana YakovlevaOn 1 May 2015 a new, second, ‘anti-piracy’ law [1] will take effect in Russia. This law amends the provisions on preliminary interim blocking injunctions for intermediaries introduced by the first anti-piracy law, which took effect on 1 August 2013.

In the opinion of this blogger, the new law, like its predecessor, will barely affect internet piracy in Russia. It is not a secret that both providers and consumers of pirated content are well equipped to circumvent the injunctions. But what about the ordinary internet users, i.e. innocent website owners? The provisions of both anti-piracy laws are so ambiguous, and procedures for introducing and enforcing injunctions are so straightforward [...]

Austria: UPC-Telekabel II/kino.to, Supreme Court of Justice of Austria, 4 Ob 71/14s, 24 June 2014

On June 24, 2014, the Austrian Supreme Court ruled that the Austrian internet service provider UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH must block access to copyright infringing websites.  The Supreme Court noted that, in accordance with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-314/12, such an injunction leaves its addressee to determine the specific measures to be taken in order to achieve the result sought. This way the internet service provider can choose to put in place measures which are best adapted to the resources and abilities available to him and which are compatible with the other obligations and challenges which he will encounter in the exercise of his activity.

A [...]

New Turkish Construction Regulations Impair the Copyright Protection on Architectural Works

Emre BayamlıoğluA brief outline of the copyright protection granted for architectural designs

In Article 2/1,  the Berne Convention counts architectural works, together with plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to architecture, as copyrightable subject matter.

Turkish law treats architectural creations in two different categories: as “literary works” and “works of fine art”. Accordingly, under Law No 5846 on Artistic and Intellectual Works, the architectural work itself and the plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to architecture are classed as two different types of work.

Article 4 of Law No 5846 titled “Works of Fine Art” grants copyright protection to archite [...]

Why the reform of the Spanish law has been contested in the Spanish Constitutional Court

Pablo HernandezThe latest large-scale reform of the Spanish Copyright Act was published on 5 November 2014.  The key aspects of the reform are discussed here.  The bulk of the opposition to the reform contends that two provisions of the Act, namely, the new regulation for private copying and the imposition of a “one-stop shop” system, breach the Spanish Constitution.    

The current Spanish governing party decided as soon as they came to power, at the end of 2011, to abolish private copy payments by consumers in Spain in order to fulfil a campaign pledge to voters.  Since no one wanted to make private copying into an illegal practice, the solution was to keep the copyright limit and to add the [...]

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