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…

On 10 January 2019, the Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his opinion in the case Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck (C 516/17). The case is part of a trilogy of preliminary references raised by the German courts focusing on copyright exceptions and the interaction of copyright law with fundamental rights (Pelham, C‑476/17 and Funke…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on a series of questions referred by the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Appeals Court (Netherlands), relating to the possible copyright protection of the taste of a cheese product. The CJEU confirmed that the concept of a “work” provided for in Directive 2001/29 requires the existence of an external…

Introduction The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled in Bastei Lübbe GmbH & Co. KG v. Michael Strotzer (C-149/17) that “the owner of an internet connection used for copyright infringements” cannot invoke his fundamental right to private life to circumvent the possible enforcement of remedies against such infringements. This judgment is…

1          Introduction The right of communication to the public (Article 3 Information Society Directive) is well-established in the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (“Court”) case-law: it no longer only encompasses more physical matters, such as broadcasting of television in hotels (SGAE, C-306/05), but also digital matters, such as linking to copyright infringing content (GS Media,…