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Filtering away infringement: copyright, injunctions & the role of ISPs

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“The underlying key question – can technology solve this problem and, if so, should technology be allowed to determine law? – remains unanswered.”

On 2-4 July 2014 Information Influx, the 25th anniversary conference of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) was held in Amsterdam.

As part of the conference, on the morning of Thursday, 3 July a panel entitled Filtering away Infringement: Copyright, Injunctions and the Role of ISPs was held. The panel was set up as a mini mock trial of a topic that has been especially controversial in the area of online copyright infringement in recent years, particularly in Europe: that of injunctive orders imposed on internet intermediaries for the [...]

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 [...]
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 [...]

CJEU in UPC Telekabel Wien: A totally legal court order…to do the impossible

Christina-Angelopoulos“This indicates the main danger of the ruling, that of fragmentation. This was foreseen by the Austrian referring court, which suggested that guidelines assessing the proportionality of blocking measures be laid down by the CJEU – that would have been welcome indeed! That absence is certainly the biggest deficiency of the ruling.”

Last Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment on Austria’s Oberster Gerichtshof reference for a preliminary ruling in Case C-314/12, UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH.   

The case begun when film production companies Constantin Film Verheih and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft GmbH noticed their copy [...]

CJEU Advocate General sides with Google in data protection dispute

Christina Angelopoulos“AG Jääskinen declined to classify Google as a “controller” of the data included on the pages indexed by its search engine within the meaning of article 1(d) of the Data Protection Directive.”

The CJEU’s Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen issued an Opinion  on 25 June advising the Court to refrain from allowing citizens the right to require Google to block links to content they find embarrassing and declining the existence of a “right to be forgotten” in existing EU legislation.

The case concerned the publication in 1998 in the printed edition of a widely circulated Barcelona newspaper of two announcements concerning a real estate auction in connection with proceedings related [...]

A Greek premiere: Greek ISPs ordered to block access to infringing websites

“This finding could have been considered predictable, if it wasn’t for  a special provision in the Greek Constitution that safeguards participation in the information society.”

Is obliging ISPs to cut off internet access to specific copyright infringing websites compatible with the Greek Constitution? That is one of the main questions that were answered by the ruling of the District Court of Athens of May 16th, 2012.

Even if it is just a response in a demand for injunctions, this decision is important for two reasons. First, it places Greek jurisdiction among other jurisdictions that decided to impose specific technological measures on  a website that hosts or offers copyright infrin [...]

France: Radioblog condemned to damages for over €1 million

The French Supreme Court (“Cour de Cassation”) has upheld, in a ruling of 25 September 2012, a judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris condemning Radioblog and its managing directors to the payment of damages amounting to over €1 million, in addition to a suspended prison sentence of nine months and a €10,000 fine.

The case is interesting for two reasons: the gigantic amount of damages and the application, for the first time, of new provisions of the French Intellectual Property Code condemning the provision of software applications intended to be used for infringing copyright.

The facts are the following: the website Radioblog provided a software called ‘RadioBlogClub’ to Internet user [...]

Sinde (anti-downloading ) Law: A Thorny Reality

A greatest hits album by Spanish pop star Luz Casal is the subject of the first case to be brought before the Intellectual Property Commission, the body created by the so-called Sinde anti-downloading law, aimed at combating copyright violations on the internet.

AGEDI, the collecting society that represents Spain’s phonographic producers, has filed a complaint against the Swiss owner of the website uploaded.to for offering allegedly unauthorized downloads of Casal’s 15-track collection Un ramo de rosas (A bouquet of roses). The commission has also issued a notification to the administrator of the Spanish website bajui.com, Juan José Coronel, for offering a link to the content.

AGEDI arg [...]

GEMA/YouTube: only secondary liability for infringing uploads

German Court of First instance rules that YouTube is only liable for secondary liability for user’s infringing uploads, but must prevent future infringements of identified works by screening of and implementing a word filter for new uploads.

In this test run case the German composers and lyricists collecting society GEMA claimed that 12 songs of its repertoire were made accessible via YouTube without permission and that YouTube LLC was primarily liable for copyright infringement. YouTube’s reaction to this had been to cancel any further negotiations with GEMA about payments for GEMA repertoire content being uploaded to YouTube. Also, YouTube had pre-emptively blocked numerous videos that pot [...]

Majority of Dutch Providers to Block The Pirate Bay. Game Over or Next Level in Copyright Wars?

On 10 May, the District Court of The Hague extended an earlier ruling with regard to two access providers to block The Pirate Bay to several major Dutch access providers.  The providers lament the ruling and consider appealing it, but soon more than 90% of the Dutch market blocks the infamous website. On the same day, the Dutch chapter of The Pirate Party was ordered to cancel its open proxy service to The Pirate Bay and to remove referrals to other proxies from its website. Finally game over for The Pirate Bay?

At first glance, and thus according to all hastily drafted media reports, the 10 May ruling against the major providers(Dutch) follows the reasoning of the 11 January ruling  (Dutc [...]

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