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 [...]
Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled in a preliminary ruling that live streaming of television channels is a ‘communication to the public’ within the meaning of the EU Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29). Therefore, the website TVCatchup, a free streaming service that offers over fifty channels of UK television on computers, smartphones and other devices connected to the internet, infringes the copyrights of commercial television broadcaster ITV.
To communicate protected works to the public under the Copyright Directive, permission of the right holder is needed. According to TVCatchup, only users with a valid television license are allowed to subscribe to its service. As users [...]