As we enter a new year, we would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes for 2016 to all of our readers, as well as reflect on developments in copyright over the past year.  Last year was a busy one in the copyright world, with a number of landmark CJEU decisions,…

Recordings used by defendants Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (collectively, Blizzard) of a former employee’s voice for a character in a video game constituted a “work made for hire” under the Copyright Act, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., December 18, 2015, per curiam)….

The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has ruled on two cases concerning internet access providers’ obligation to block access to websites providing links to predominantly illegal content. In these two landmark decisions, the BGH has paved the way for website blocking in Germany. Where protected content is offered illegally, directly or via link providers,…

On November 13th the Dutch Supreme Court provided another chapter in the case of ISPs and blocking of the Pirate Bay (hereafter: TPB). It decided that the Court of Appeal had used an incorrect, namely too broad, criterion to judge the effectiveness of a blocking measure. Furthermore, preliminary questions were referred to the ECJ concerning…

On December 9th 2015 the Commission revealed its plans for the modernisation of copyright law. The target is to adapt copyright law to technological challenges and to make it more European, digital friendly and functional in an EU digital single market. The Commission’s strategy focuses on the three key areas which have been identified by…

Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC (the Infosoc Directive) must be interpreted as meaning that a broadcasting organisation does not carry out an act of “communication to the public” when it transmits its programme-carrying signals exclusively to signal distributors without those signals being accessible to the public (the “direct injection” technique). This judgment by the European…

On October 29th 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its judgment in the case C‑490/14, Freistaat Bayern v Verlag Esterbauer GmbH. The Court was called upon to clarify the definition of “database” in Directive 96/9 on the legal protection of databases. It is noteworthy that the Database Directive, one of the…

The case of Svensson Retriever has shown that a hyperlink to a work freely available on a website accessible for all internet users is not a new communication to the public in the sense of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC. However, the preliminary questions posed to the ECJ by an interlocutory judgment of September 30…

The French Supreme Court (‘Cour de cassation’) has caused a stir in France (15 May 2015, No 13-27391), by quashing a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris for breaching Article 10-2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The Supreme Court held that before condemning an alleged infringer for copyright infringement, the…