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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 [...]

Tens of thousands of cease and desist letters for watching a stream

PhilippZimbehl

It doesn’t  happen every day that copyright law and its daily application receive such an overwhelming media coverage. Germany’s biggest news portals, the public service broadcasters and major newspapers all reported about a case that appears to be a  routine job for a copyright lawyer. In the last two weeks a wave of cease and desist letters sloshed over the country. This happens from time to time and is also not very noteworthy.

What made this case different was not the amount of letters that had been sent out (suspected to be in the high five figures area) and neither was it the fact that it involved, once again, many people that did not even own a computer.

What caused all the att [...]

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 [...]

The Donner case and the “target country” principle

“A generalised principle of the “targeted” country might well become a recognised point of attachment in copyright conflicts of laws, at least in cases where such target jurisdictions can clearly be identified.”

The distribution of industrial products protected by copyright law can amount to a criminal offence as a violation of the distribution right. In CJEU, 21 June 2012, case C 5/11 (Donner), the CJEU clarified the interface between European law and national criminal sanctions in case such products are protected in the country of export but not in the originating country. The CJEU took the view that European legislation does not stand in the way of applying criminal law provisions c [...]

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 [...]

Intermediary classic decided in favor of intermediary

The Dutch Court of Appeal in Leeuwarden has ruled in favor of an online market platform with regard to its liability for intellectual property infringements and the burden of policing for unlawful use of its platform. The case between Stokke, the producer of the Tripp Trapp highchair, and Marktplaats, an eBay subsidiary and the most popular Dutch online market, is a long-running intermediary liability classic in the Netherlands, with earlier District Court rulings in 2006 and 2007.

Using recent judgments about intermediary liability of the ECJ, the Court rejects a long variety of arguments why the intermediary should not be considered passive enough to be considered a hosting provider (Artic [...]

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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