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Thus bad begins and worse remains behind: Google News closes to Spanish media

pedro-letaiOn December 16, search engine giant Google started excluding stories from Spanish news media on its Google News service. The Californian internet company has taken the decision in the wake of the so-called ‘Google tax’, which forms part of the Spanish government’s new Copyright Act, due to go into force on January 1, 2015. The legislation requires Google and other news aggregators to start paying ‘fair compensation’ to publishers for the reproduction of their content.

Spain has thus become the first country in the world in which Google has closed its news service to media outlets. As a consequence of the measure, links to all Spanish media articles will be removed from the service globally [...]

Football Dataco: skill and labour is dead!

Summary & comment by Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Associate Professor and Reader in Intellectual Property law, University of Nottingham, School of Law.

“The crux of the judgment comes at paragraph 42 when the court clearly states that skill and labour in the selection or arrangement of the data, even if significant, is not sufficient as such to trigger copyright protection.”

This morning, the Court of Justice delivered its judgement in Case C-604/10, Football Dataco & others v. Yahoo UK ! & others and followed Advocate General Mengozzi’s opinion.The case concerned, yet again, football fixtures lists. The claimant (Football Dataco) argued that the lists were protected by copyright as databases [...]

Hosting providers: passive vs. active

We are experiencing a new trend by Italian first instance courts in addressing the issue of liability of hosting providers for contents posted by users in copyright infringement cases. The new approach is likely to impose providers of video sharing platforms (such as YouTube, Dailymotion and others) dramatic changes in their model of business, with relevant consequences for the whole information society.

In recent judgments, courts have in fact elaborated the theory that the provision contained in art. 14 of the E-Commerce Directive that exempts hosting providers from liability in case of unlawful activities carried out by the users of their service, applies only to “passive” hosting provide [...]

Databases: sui generis protection and copyright protection

Data creation, intellectual creation and creativity in the world of databases: The Advocate’s General Opinion in the Football Dataco Ltd v. Yahoo! Uk Limited Case and its potential impact in database copyright.

What is a database? Are database copyright protection and database sui generis protection completely independent?  What is the creativity level for asserting that the selection of the disposition of a database contents is the «author’s own intellectual creation» or is creativity not a prerequisite for database copyright protection? Fifteen years after the adoption of the Database Directive, this odd creature in the copyright world, these questions are far from being resolved. E [...]

“Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet” (Mark Twain)?

On the 24th of May 2011 the European Commission has issued a Communication containing its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) strategy. The document has a promising title: “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights. Boosting creativity and Innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe.”

In short, the Communication mentions the need to balance the protection of IPRs with access to works, which is to be done by means of “enabling legislation” – that is, legislation which allows for a more efficient management of IPRs. In relation to copyright in particular, the Communication identifies some issues to be tackled by the [...]

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