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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Category Archives: Licensing

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Mark BrennanPhoto of Arpan Sura

Hogan Lovells publishes Demystifying the U.S. CLOUD Act

Hogan Lovells has published Demystifying the U.S. CLOUD Act, a detailed analysis of the impact of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) on non-U.S. businesses and individuals who use cloud storage solutions. Demystifying the U.S. CLOUD Act was written by Hogan Lovells partners Winston Maxwell and Mark Brennan, and senior associate Arpan Sura. The report specifically focuses on language in the CLOUD Act that allows U.S. law enforcement agencies, under certain circumstances, to lawfully demand data stored in foreign countries from entities subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Winston Maxwell

Technology neutrality in Internet, telecoms and data protection regulation

Technology neutrality is one of the key principles of the European regulatory framework for electronic communications. The principle was first introduced in 2002, and reinforced in the 2009 with the revised EU telecoms legislation. Since the 2009 revisions, all spectrum licenses in Europe are supposed to be “technology neutral.” Since 2011, technology neutrality has also been recognized as a key principle for Internet policy (OECD, 2011). The concept now appears in the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation,[1] and the proposed EU Directive on Network and Information Security[2] (the so-called NIS

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, Defamation, e-commerce, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Launching: LimeGreen IP News

Hogan Lovells’ Intellectual Property, Media and Technology team is excited to announce the launch of LimeGreen IP News. Complementing our LimeGreen IP know-how site, this new online news platform is designed not only to provide you with detailed discussion on recent case law and decisions but also to provide the latest business critical IP trends and issues from around the globe. To sign up to free alerts from LimeGreen IP News click here to be taken to our subscription page, where you can select to receive all content, or specify your areas of interest (eg patents, trademarks, copyright

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation

China issues new rules on patents in domestic standards

On December 19, 2013, the Standardization Administration of China (“SAC”) and the State Intellectual Property Office issued the Regulatory Measures on National Standards Involving Patents (Interim) (“Patent Measures”). Before issuing the Patent Measures, SAC issued draft proposals for public comment in 2004, 2009, and 2012, respectively. This comment-and-revision process culminated in the Patent Measures, which came into effect on January 1, 2014. The issuance of the Patent Measures is a significant development for standards in China, especially for the telecommunications and electronics industries. The Patent Measures provide much-needed guidance on

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark BrennanPhoto of Michele FarquharPhoto of Ari FitzgeraldPhoto of Trey HanburyPhoto of Federico Hernández Arroyo

The new Mexican Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law

As part of the constitutional reform in telecommunications matters published on 11 June 2013 (the Constitutional Reform), the new Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law (the Law) was finally published on 14 July, and went into effect this past 13 August. The new Law establishes a new regulatory framework in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector in Mexico, which contains the principles based on the Constitutional Reform, whose principal objectives are: the creation of more rights, the promotion of competition, and the provision of better services at lower prices. Additionally, along with

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Michele Farquhar

Broadcast Incentive Auction Update: Rules of the Road Coming Soon

The FCC is expected to vote on rules governing the broadcast incentive auction during its May 15 open meeting.  Although the Report and Order outlining the rules is still being circulated internally among FCC leadership and has not been released to the public, the FCC has not been shy about telegraphing the direction the final rules might take, including broadcaster-related provisions.

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Trey Hanbury

Mexico overhauls telecom regulator, continues ambitious reform

The Mexican telecommunication regulatory body is in the midst of a significant overhaul, and major changes on the horizon could affect any entity with wireless voice or data operations near the U.S.-Mexican border.  Should uncertainty persist into the new year, the Mexican regulatory transition has the potential to affect the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction, which will require intensive international technical coordination of television stations and wireless broadband operations in border regions. On June 10, 2013, the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, signed into law an amendment to the constitution

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation Photo of Trey Hanbury

Patent trolls spark debate, calls for reform

The rise of patent litigation by non-practicing entities (“NPEs”), colloquially known as “patent trolls,” has resulted in a “chess game”:  companies that rely on patents must employ an interdisciplinary defensive strategy involving litigation, regulatory and legislative fronts, according to Ray Kurz, partner in Hogan Lovells’s Washington, D.C. office, who spoke at the firm’s annual Winnik forum.  As Hogan Lovells partner Trey Hanbury explained, this expensive defensive strategy disproportionately burdens companies in the technology, media, and telecoms industries, as they are the target in three out of every four patent lawsuits.

Posted in Copyright, e-commerce, Internet, Licensing

Winnik panel explores IP enforcement on the Internet

Gathered as part of the Winnik International Telecommunications & Internet Forum, a panel of experts addressed the protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet. Moderator Peter Watts, partner in the Hogan Lovells’s London office, noted that it was not until almost 300 years after the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press that the first copyright law was implemented.  And it was not for another 200 years after that until there was an international agreement protecting copyrighted works.  By breaking down physical and social barriers, the current information and technological revolution

Posted in Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation Photo of Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

Germany: Open Source must remain open: Obligations for the sale of electronic goods containing Open Source software

The District Court of Hamburg, Germany, recently had the opportunity to review the conditions governing the use of Open Source software. In a decision that bolsters the enforceability of open source software licenses, the district court confirmed that the defendant had lost its right to use the software licensed under the General Public License (GPLv2) when it failed to fully reveal the underlying source code. The court rejected the defense argument that requiring the defendant company to comply with the conditions of the GPLv2 was unreasonable (decision of 14. June

Posted in Copyright, Licensing Photo of Dr. Christian Tinnefeld

Germany: Inspection of source code – Federal Supreme Court renders decision in favor of copyright holder

Copyright holders can request inspection of source code at the defendant’s premises by court experts if reasonable grounds indicate unlawful use of copyright protected software by the defendant. According to a recent decision of the Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”), published mid-April, this also applies if the copyright holder only claims infringement of parts of his software and even if these parts in question comprise sequences that are in the public domain (FCJ, decision of 20 September 2012, docket no.: I ZR 90/09 – “UniBasicIDOS”).

Posted in Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation

Singapore announces new licence for online news sites

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 other news platforms. However, concerns have been raised that the new licensing regime will hinder the free flow of information online, and will prevent smaller online news sites or blogs

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing

Aereo/Aereokiller Update: The Ongoing Battle Over What Constitutes a Public Performance Under the Copyright Act

Recap 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.[1] In both cases, the companies (Aereo and Aereokiller) devised retransmission systems that employed individual, dime-sized antennas to create a separate, unique copy of copyrighted broadcast programming for each of their subscribers who wanted to watch the

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Reform of the telecom & broadcasting sectors in Mexico

Mexico has announced a major reform in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, liberalizing not only foreign investment, but also promising antitrust enforcement and government infrastructure sharing, along with targeted sector-specific regulatory reform. These changes, when implemented, will provide significant opportunities for international investors to enter and/or increase their positions in the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. The attached summary presents a preliminary analysis of the reform which is expected to be implemented as early as year-end and by which: Foreign investment will be significantly liberalized in the telecom and satellite

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Winston Maxwell

French telecom regulator tries to force Skype to register as operator

The French telecommunications regulatory authority, ARCEP, today announced that it had complained to the French prosecutor about Skype’s persistent failure to register as a telecommunications operator in France.  According to the ARCEP, the Skype service that permits users to call telephone numbers on public fixed and mobile networks constitutes a publicly available telephone service and therefore requires Skype to register as an operator.  Failure to register is theoretically subject to criminal sanctions of up to one year imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros.  These sanctions are in large part

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing

Aereo v. Aereokiller: New York and California District Courts Disagree on What Constitutes a Public Performance Under the Copyright Act

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 their subscribers with access to copyrighted content over the Internet using virtually identical technologies. Although neither service was licensed by the copyright owners, one service was preliminarily enjoined, but the

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Time Warner Cable’s latest victory proves significant for the communications infrastructure industry

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 faster and cheaper access requirements for AT&T), and infrastructure critical to the provision of electronic communications services. In ruling against CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned electric utility in the

Posted in Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Trey Hanbury

Sequestration Could Potentially Delay Telecom Deals and Slow Smartphone Offerings, But Should Not Affect Phone Subsidy and Auction Programs

When last year’s “supercommittee” failed to reach consensus on a plan to reduce the deficit, it set in motion $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending cuts for 2013. If Congress does not act to prevent this “sequestration” by January 2, 2013, the budget axe will fall across virtually every element of the US government. The Office of Management and Budget has detailed how sequestration will affect individual government agencies. Like other agencies, the Federal Communications Commission would need to implement dramatic reductions in spending: sequestration will require the FCC to cut

Posted in Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Licensing

Protecting Italian Lamps and Egg Chairs In The UK: The Proposed Repeal Of S.52 CDPA

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 works to 25 years, as opposed to the term of the life of the artist plus 70 years which is usually afforded to works of artistic copyright.   After a period

Posted in Copyright, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing

Proposed Collecting Society Reforms

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 and decide which territories that collecting society should be responsible for, irrespective of the territory in which that collecting society is established. Music collecting societies currently operate predominantly on a

Posted in Copyright, Licensing Photo of Morten Petersenn

The afterlife of copyright sub licences after the death of the main licence

The German Federal Court of Justice decided in two cases that within normal circumstances a sub licence does not cease to exist if the main licence expires. The cases In both cases the owners of the rights to a copyright protected work sued sub licensees for copyright infringement after the main licence, from which the sub licensees derived their rights, had expired. In the first case the plaintiff was the owner of the exclusive world-wide publishing rights to Paul Desmond’s famous Jazz composition “Take Five”. In 1961 the plaintiff entered