The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled today on the lawfulness or otherwise of using hyperlinks to copyright works published by others online. The CJEU has answered questions on EU copyright law under the Infosoc Directive (2001/29) referred to it by the Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden in a case concerning paid-for links produced for its subscribers … Continue Reading
After three years of legal dispute, the German computer manufacturing industry and the collecting societies agreed upon copyright levies for desktop computers, notebooks, netbooks and workstations by entering into a settlement agreement for the period of 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2016. Pending proceedings at the Higher District Court of Munich that were filed by a number of jointly … Continue Reading
On 13 November 2013, in the case of Paramount Home Entertainment Limited & Others and British Sky Broadcasting Limited & Others  EWHC 3479 (Ch), Arnold J granted a blocking order requested by six major film studios. It required the six main UK retail internet service providers to block access to two websites which provided hyperlinks to, and downloads … Continue Reading
Website operators seeking to qualify for a defence to possible defamation claims in respect of comments published on their websites contained in the Defamation Act 2013 will have two days (subject to the courts’ discretion) to notify the authors of the comments of the complaint, under the recently published draft Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013 (the “Regulations“), … Continue Reading
How much protection against the media is an eleven-year-old child of a celebrity entitled to while participating in a sports competition? The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) answered this question recently (case reference VI ZR 125/12 of 28 May 2013):
At the age of eleven, Princess Alexandra, daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover, had participated in a figure skating … Continue Reading
Pierre Moscovici, French Minister of Economy and Finance has presented a bill on 4 September 2013, called “Simplifying life for business” (“Bill“). This provides for a specific status for crowd funding platforms, with the aim of supporting crowd funding platforms, developing this way of raising funds and ensuring the security of the donors, giving them the guarantee that … Continue Reading
The UK Government has announced the launch of a new police unit aimed at targeting intellectual property crime. In particular, the unit will be focused on tackling online piracy and other forms of intellectual property crime such as counterfeit goods.
The intention to set up the unit was originally announced last December. This more recent announcement confirms:
- details of the
As of 1 June 2013, online news sites that regularly report on Singapore matters and which are accessed by a significant number of Singapore readers will need to apply to the Media Development Authority of Singapore (“MDA”) for a new individual licence.
The MDA contends that the new licensing regime has been implemented in order to create greater consistency amongst … Continue Reading
When we last checked in on our combatants, federal district courts in New York and California had come to contrary conclusions as to whether the unlicensed delivery of copyrighted content to subscribers over the Internet by companies that used virtually identical technologies constituted a public performance under the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act. In both cases, the companies … Continue Reading
The European Commission’s Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values” asks stakeholders to comment on some of the most difficult policy questions of the decade, such as how to preserve European audiovisual policy objectives in a borderless Internet environment. Here are highlights:
Copyright. The Commission refers to its ongoing work on copyright reform, … Continue Reading
ARBITRAZH COURT OF ST PETERSBURG AND LENINGRAD REGION, DECISION OF 15 OCTOBER 2012, NO. A56-16627/2011; 13TH ARBITRAZH COURT OF APPEAL, DECISION OF 21 JANUARY 2013
The Russian courts have adopted a new interpretation of copyright legislation, leading to successful copyright infringement proceedings against the Russian social network VKontakte.
VKontakte is currently the largest Russian social network with more than 100 … Continue Reading
COURT OF APPEAL OF COLOGNE, DECISION OF 14 SEPTEMBER 2012, NO. 6 U 73/12, “CHERRY STONES”
The Court of Appeal of Cologne once again held that embedding content in a frame does not constitute copyright infringement. Thus, the legal situation in Germany regarding the liability for third party content in frames is still somewhat unclear.
The defendant granted on its … Continue Reading
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the resale within and importation into the United States of copies manufactured and purchased abroad are protected under the first sale defense. Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 568 U.S. ___ (2013). That is, once a copyrighted article manufactured abroad is first sold abroad, any later sale or distribution of … Continue Reading
The Court of Justice of the European Union Rules in ITV Broadcasting Ltd (and others) v TV Catchup Ltd.
In an important case that re-enforces the breadth of the basic rights of broadcasters and content owners to control the distribution of content by alternative technical means, the CJEU recently ruled that live internet streaming of a free-to-air television channel … Continue Reading
Technology continues to evolve at an ever increasing pace, often leaving in its wake lawsuits that require the application of laws enacted before the technological advancements occurred. Perhaps it is not too surprising, then, that in struggling to apply “old laws” to “new technologies,” courts sometimes reach contrary conclusions.
A recent example of this phenomenon involves two companies that provided … Continue Reading
On 17 December 2012, the Supreme People’s Court (the “SPC”) issued the Provisions on Relevant Issues Related to the Trial of Civil Cases involving Disputes over Infringement of the Right of Dissemination through Information Networks (“Provisions”). The Provisions came into force on 1 January 2013.
These Provisions are significant because:
(a) litigation relating to online or … Continue Reading
On December 13, 2012 the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruled that the City of San Antonio’s electric company had discriminated against Time Warner Cable and in favor of AT&T. The PUC found that the discrimination occurred with respect to the rates (that were four to five times as high), terms and conditions for access to the utility’s poles (including … Continue Reading
To attract international film productions to France, the French National Assembly voted to increase to €10 million the amount of tax rebates that can be earned by filming in France. The new provision is hidden in Article 16 quinquies of the Amending Finance Bill for 2012, voted on December 11, 2012. Previously the amount of the total rebate … Continue Reading
The UK’s review of the culture, practices and ethics of the press has now published recommendations for the future. The presiding Judge, Lord Leveson, described his Inquiry as “the most public and the most concentrated look at the press that this country has seen”.
The report emphasises the need for a “genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation” which can … Continue Reading
In September 2012 the Communications Authority issued a consultation paper to invite views from the public on the proposed amendments to the Codes of Practice governing television and radio programmes and advertising. The results of the consultation were published last week and a summary of the responses can be found here.
Overview of responses
The majority of the responses … Continue Reading
Our quarterly publication takes an in-depth look at business, legal and regulatory trends, on four continents, affecting the content and digital network industries. The Autumn edition contains the following articles:
The Investment Conundrum, by Peter Watts. Peter examines the tension between heavy infrastructure investment needed for broadband networks, and the fast-moving, over-the-top, world of content.
Three companies (PCCW, City Telecom and i-cable all through newly formed companies to overcome the cross-media restrictions in Hong Kong) applied for free-to-air TV licences following an announcement from the Government a few years back that the duopoly in this market would be abolished. A few years after the three applications from the new entrants were filed it seems there … Continue Reading
Hidden in the recesses of the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill are some potentially radical changes to the UK’s copyright regime. These proposed reforms would result in a drastic increase of the duration of copyright protection for certain artistic works.
Section 52 of the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988 currently curtails the duration of copyright in many mass-produced artistic … Continue Reading
The European Commission has issued a proposed Directive on the “collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use”. The focus of the Directive is on the freedom of choice for rights holders (namely record labels and musicians) – they should be entitled to choose which collecting society to use in managing their rights … Continue Reading