The Polish government has filed a complaint against the new DSM Directive, and more specifically against its art. 17. While it will be a long time until the CJ EU issues a decision, the complaint makes it likely that the battle for the rules on intermediary liability is not over; it has just been moved…

In December, we set out our views on what would happen to copyright in the UK following Brexit – see here.   This blog is intended to provide an update in light of more recent events. On 15 January 2019, the House of Commons voted to reject the draft Withdrawal Agreement.  The Withdrawal Agreement had provided…

Back in 2016, the CJEU examined the question of whether backup copies of software could be resold, following the exhaustion of the right of distribution pursuant to the judgment in C-128/11 UsedSoft. In C-166/15 Ranks (Microsoft), the Court ruled that, although the initial acquirer of software can resell that copy and his licence, he cannot…

On 2 May 2019, Advocate General Szpunar delivered his opinion in Case C-683/17, Cofemel – Sociedade de Vestuário SA v. G-Star Raw CV (not yet available in English). The case concerned designs for t-shirts and jeans made by G-Star Raw. In essence, the question posed by the Portuguese Supreme Court is whether Member States have…

Part 1 of this post discussed the legislative history and significance of the CJEU referral in Tom Kabinet. This part will illustrate content and implications of the three classificatory dichotomies, explain why EU copyright law needs digital exhaustion, and propose interpretative solutions for the CJEU to help with this, leveraging the occasion offered by the…

After years of contradictory decisions and obiter dicta, on April 2, 2019 the CJEU held the first hearing in Tom Kabinet (C-263/18), a Dutch referral that promises to solve once and for good the question of admissibility of digital exhaustion under Art. 4(2) InfoSoc. Against the legislative silence, Tom Kabinet puts the Court at a…

Introduction: digital exhaustion One of the main limitations to the right of distribution in European copyright law is the principle or rule of exhaustion. This rule, known as the first sale doctrine in US law, means that the right of distribution is exhausted by the first sale or other transfer of ownership of a copy…

In its judgment of 19 December 2018 in Criminal proceedings against Imran Syed (C-572/17) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rules that the storage of copyright infringing items constitutes infringement of the distribution right if identical items are also held at the actual place of sale and those items are intended to…

Following the Paris Court of Appeal judgment of 10 May 2016 (No 14/25055), the French courts have tended to consider that a licensee who breaches the terms of a software licence agreement does not commit copyright infringement, and that general contractual liability applies instead. In the aforementioned case, the Court dismissed the licensor’s (Oracle) claims…

On 10 January 2019, the Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his opinion in the case Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck (C 516/17).  Part I of this blogpost explored the AG’s stance in relation to the degree of latitude left to Member States when implementing copyright exceptions and the ambit of the news reporting exception…