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EU Commissioner Kroes: Our single market is crying out for copyright reform

Neelie-Kroes-IVIR“Every day citizens here in the Netherlands and across the EU break the law just to do something commonplace. And who can blame them when those laws are so ill-adapted.”

Speech Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, delivered at the opening of Information Influx, the 25th anniversary conference of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) on 2-4 July 2014 in Amsterdam.

“Happy birthday to you all at the Institute for Information Law. I would sing you “Happy Birthday”. But technically I think the song is still under copyright — I don’t want to have to pay the royalty.

Today the debate about information, innovation, and intellectual property can be complex, personal, and [...]

A bill to amend the Spanish IP Law

Raquel-Xalabarder-Plantada“A clear intention to solve some of the most disturbing problems in Spanish IP.”

On February 14th, the Spanish Government approved a bill to amend the law of intellectual property (TRLPI).  The bill is currently in its parliamentary proceedings. It is a “patchwork” reform bill dealing with very different topics, some more necessary than others, and including some unexpected –last minute- additions and a curiosity.

Table of Contents

Implementing two directives
Education and research activities
Private copying
The Google tax
Press-clippings
Collective management organizations
Distribution of competences
Online piracy
Liability for copyright infringement
Progress of the proceedings

Im [...]
The TTIP-gate: a tale of access to documents, secrecy and EU powers

Ana-Ramalho“The Court added a cherry on top of the transparency cake.”

It is no secret that secrecy in the TTIP negotiations has been bothering several sectors of civil society (apologies, but the links to back this up were too many to insert here). Just last week, the Court of Justice has issued a decision in Case C-350/12  that sheds further light into this matter.

The case concerns a dispute over access to a document – the opinion of the Council’s Legal Service covering certain aspects of the opening of negotiations on an international agreement to make available to the United States some financial data. One of the elements of this document is an analysis of the legal basis and the respect [...]

Recently added copyright cases

KluwerThe KluwerCopyrightBlog is part of Kluwer’s IP Law portfolio. Whereas the blog serves as a platform where scholars and practioners can share their informed opinions on specific aspects of IP law and jurisprudence, the related Kluwer Copyright Cases Database aims to accumulate important (new and older) case law in the field of copyright in one database.

To satisfy the increasing curiosity about what is happening in the copyright courts of other EU member states, we regularly publish short overviews of cases that were recently added to the database.

The selection of this month includes recently submitted cases from the UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Malta and Finland:

UK: Court of App [...]
Italy: the take-down notice must contain the specific YouTube URLs

spedicato“A take-down notice which generically refers to the titles of the infringing videos, without specifically indicating their URLs, is not sufficient to determine the “actual knowledge” of the hosting provider.”

On May 5, 2014, the Distric Court of Turin has given a preliminary ruling on the proper content of the take-down notices in copyright infringement disputes. Although the decision is not completely surprising (see, in this regard, this ruling of the Distric Court of Rome, 11 July 2011), it sets the standard for copyright holders on how to draft a take-down notice to be notified to a ISP.

Background

The action has been brought by Delta TV, an Italian company which produces and d [...]

Blog Poll results: the private copying system

blog-poll--levies-2We have closed our second blog poll and we have counted the votes. First of all, it is heartwarming to see that more readers are concerned about the position of orphans than about private copying: whereas our first blog poll about the orphan works directive attracted a few thousand voters, this second poll  closed with a result of just a few hundred votes.

A fairly reasonable amount. Questions in online polls are often short and snappy, and we realize that our 8 questions about Ms Francoise Castex’s  motion, Antonió Vitorino’s report and the implications of the Padawan decision were perhaps less easy  to digest.

Summarized in short: According to  the European Parliament, private c [...]

No more downloading from unlawful sources?

Quintais-de-Leeuw-DLDThis would mean that the ruling will not leave end-users substantially worse-off, despite the qualification of their acts as infringing. However, that is a difficult argument to make.”

In its judgment of 10 April 2014 in Case C-435/12 ACI Adam BV and Others the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the private copying limitation, when interpreted in light of the three-step test, only allows Member States to exempt reproductions made for private use from lawful sources from authorization. The Court essentially followed the Opinion of AG Villalón (see here).

Table of Contents

Facts, dispute and questions referred
Judgment
Reactions and Impact
Conclusion

Facts, dispute an [...]
The Single Market and copyright protection of formats

Max-von-G“Does the European Single Market provide the right legal framework for the unhindered exchange of formats between the Member States?”

Formats, especially television formats, have proven their commercial value, but the question whether copyright protection also applies to these products of the mind, which they undoubtedly are, cannot be answered easily and there are valid arguments for and against (copyright) protection.

Pursuant to the European Court of Justice’s definition of a copyright protected ‘work’, formats can theoretically be protected by copyright. The creators have to prove that they made free and creative choices during the process of creation by selecting, combining, a [...]

Study on sports organisers’ rights in the EU

Sportrights“The study concludes that under their domestic copyright laws none of the current EU Member States offer protection to sports events as such. A handful of countries, however, afford some special form of protection to the specific interests of sports organizers.”

A study on sports organizers’ rights was launched by the European Commission in January 2013. It was carried out by a consortium composed of TMC Asser Institute and the Institute for information law (IViR) Faculty of law, University of Amsterdam. The study was financed by the Preparatory Action ‘European Partnership on Sports’ 2012. 

Main objectives and findings

The main objectives of the study were to map the legal framework [...]

Thumbnails: French proposal for payment of royalties by search engines

Brad-SpitzIn France, search engines using thumbnails are likely to infringe on copyright. On 8 April 2014, a French Senator proposed a Bill to establish compulsory collective management for the reproduction of photographs and images by search engine services.

Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of photographs and images, used by search engines such as Google Images in order to facilitate their recognition and organisation, with links to the websites where the photographs and images are published.

Such reproduction of photographs and other works is likely to constitute fair use under the US Copyright Act of 1976 (see Meng Ding, Perfect 10 v Amazon.com: A Step Toward Copyright’s Tort Law Roots, Berk [...]

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