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What’s the size of small parts? (Germany)

By Benjamin Schütze, Institute of Legal Informatics, Leibniz Universität Hannover

“Since its introduction in 2003, the provision marks the centre of a controversy between schools and institutions of higher education and copyright holders, especially publishing houses marketing a scientific – educational portfolio.”

About the right to make available small parts of a work for illustration purposes for teaching in schools and higher education and how it is interpreted by OLG Stuttgart in Alfred Kröner Verlag GmbH & Co. KG v Fernuniversität in Hagen (4 U 171/11).

The dispute between the parties centres on the question of whether Fernuniversität Hagen shall be permitted under § 52a Germ [...]

[Updated] As had long been suspected: The proposed Press Publishers Right is meant as a lex Google after all (Germany)

“Some said this would be like an Opera House charging the taxi drivers for taking the audience to the venue.”

It has been more than three years now since the infamous idea of a new neighbouring right for press publishers appeared in the coalition agreement of the second Merkel government out of thin air. On the face of it, the approach seemed somewhat reasonable: To give press publishers a neighbouring right just like the ones enjoyed by other key players of content production, f.e. film and phonogram producers.

First ideas for an implementation circled around a kind of online press levy, to be payed by any commercial or public entity. There were reports about the respective collecting socie [...]

Vorschaubilder II. The second case on image search thumbnails

The German Federal Court of Justice rejects liability for image search thumbnails even if they are indexed on websites showing the images without permission as long as other websites did so with the rights holder’s consent.

The first landmark case involving thumbnail previews of Google’s image search function in Germany (Vorschaubilder I, 2010) had dealt with indexation of images put online by the rights holder herself with no robots.txt file telling search bots not to index these images. Criticised by many, the Federal Court of Justice in that first case in effect established an opt-out rule where the rights holder has to actively indicate not to allow indexing in order to get injunctive re [...]

Finland: Finreactor I & II (Supreme Court), 30 June 2010

Logo FinreactorFinland: Finreactor I, Supreme Court (Korkein oikeus), 30 June 2010.

Filesharing: The defendants were administrators of the Finreactor BitTorrent file sharing network. The networks’ users could illegally download copyrighted works. The network was built so that the files were not available on the Finreactor’s site but resided on users’ own computers. Finreactor had a tracker that kept track of which user had which files available for downloading.The administrators had removed torrent-links, given warnings and banned users from the site. The administrators were not aware of the content of individual files.The court held that the administrators’ criminal liability was not limited by the techni [...]

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