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Kluwer Copyright Cases

Kluwer Copyright Cases

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 [...]

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 [...]

Spain: APM v. SGAE, Spanish National Competition Commission, Resolution S/0460/13, 6 November 2014

In a recent decision, the Spanish Market and Competition Commission (CNMC), imposed a fine of 3.1 million Euros on the Spanish collecting society, SGAE, for demanding an excessive fee for concert licensing.

This decision is of particular interest because the Spanish competition authority has taken a new approach when interpreting the European law on the method of analysing the fairness of a fee.  This could lead to considerable uncertainty if this line of interpretation should become established.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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Italy: Buma di Paolo Buscema v Data Bridge, Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy, 13524/2014, 13 June 2014

The Italian Supreme Court confirmed that software which derives from a pre-existing computer program is eligible for copyright protection provided it demonstrates a minimal level of originality, even if it reproduces the main structure of the pre-existing program.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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France: TF1, Court of Cassation of France, First Civil Law Chamber, 13-22401, 13 November 2014

In this judgment, the French Supreme Court ruled that an author who is a member of a collecting society may not take action in infringement cases to protect his economic rights, except in the case of a deficiency on the part of said collecting society.

In the same judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that publishing agreements for the assignment of rights of an author must be in writing, and it is not possible to demonstrate the existence of an agreement by reference to the behaviour of the authors as regards the exploitation of the work.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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Czech Republic: “Bike Shop v. Masters of Sound”, Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, II. ÚS 3076/13, 15 April 2014

In a case concerning the use of a radio set in a small bike shop, the Constitutional Court ruled that in order to assess whether a user is making a communication to the public, the situation of the specific user and of all the persons to whom he communicates the protected works must be assessed.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

 

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France: Do members of collecting societies retain the right to sue?

Brad-SpitzArticle L.321-1 paragraph 2 of the French Intellectual Property Code (‘IPC’) provides that collecting societies are entitled to take legal action to defend the rights for which they are responsible under their articles of association (by-laws). Collecting societies may therefore take legal action to defend their repertoires and those of foreign collecting societies that they manage, whether before the civil courts (Supreme Court, 22 March 1988, 86-11874) or the criminal courts (Supreme Court, 25 October 1988, 86-91720). In its judgment of 13 November 2014 (13-22401), the French Supreme Court answered a very important question: do authors who are members of collecting societies retain the [...]

Switzerland: ETH document delivery service, Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, 4A_295/2014, 28 November 2014

The document delivery service of ETH Zurich (scanning individual articles and sending them by email to the users) is covered by the exception for private use (Art. 19 CopA), as a person entitled to make copies of a work for private use (Art. 19 al. 1 CopA) may also have them made by libraries and sent by email (Art. 19 al. 2 CopA). Such a service is not in direct competition with the publishers’ services (publishers’ pay-platform), as the library may merely scan individual articles on request, but shall not provide an entire online database. This reverses the decision of the Zurich Commercial Court of 7 April 2014.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

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Latvia: Authorship as a legal fact, District Court of Zemgale, Riga, C31338513, 30 October 2014

The Court rejected B’s application to establish his authorship of a film as a legal fact.  Under Copyright Law no registration or other formalities are required to enjoy copyright protection. It follows that a person owns copyright upon creating a work and there are no special documents certifying the authorship. Therefore a court cannot turn into a copyright registry by establishing legal facts of authorship.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Switzerland: The library’s document delivery service (scanning and sending journal articles by email to users) complies with copyright law

Yani-BenhamouIn a battle between the Zurich Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule (ETH) and three publishers (Elsevier, Springer, Thieme), the Zurich Commercial Court, in its decision of 7 April 2014, prohibited the library from providing a document delivery service (scanning and sending journal articles by email to the users). The Supreme Court reversed this ruling, in its decision of 28 November 2014 , and agreed with the ETH that such a service complies with copyright protection and may continue to be provided.

According to the Supreme Court, the library may rely on the exception for private use (Art. 19 CopA): users, who are entitled to make copies of journal articles for private use (Art. 19 (1) C [...]

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