On 6 August 2019 the Ondernemingsrechtbank Antwerpen (the court) submitted a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on a dispute between Mircom, a company registered under Cypriot law, and Telenet, a Belgian internet service provider whose users presumably shared copyright protected works via Bit-torrent. This case…

On 12 June 2019, the High Court of the Netherlands referred four questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling. The questions concern an ongoing battle between Stichting Brein, a Dutch anti-piracy organisation representing movie and music industries, and NSE (News-Service.com), an online platform for Usenet services. Stichting…

Impartial observers of the 2018-19 debates around the new European Directive on Copyright must have been mystified. They were used to the acrimonious disputes between lobbies representing conflicting short-term economic interests. No surprise there. The shock came from elsewhere; from citizen reactions, community responses and societal questions. What if these reactions, responses and questions were…

In Anglosphere nations, the rights of creators are governed almost entirely by their contracts with investors. The US and Canada have the only (small) exceptions: US law entitles creators to terminate (most) agreements after 35 years; in Canada, rights revert automatically to heirs 25 years after the author’s death. Outside those cases, and throughout the…

On 28 March 2019, the German Federal Court (BGH) was asked to review a lower court’s decision on the legality of the unauthorised uploading of the 30 day free trial version of Microsoft software on an online trader’s website. This gave the BGH the chance to further clarify the applicability of the German Copyright Act…

Here we have it. The first instance of regulatory divergence. The UK is leaving the European Union, and already the rules of the single market are starting to break. In response to a parliamentary question by Labour MP Jo Stevens, Intellectual Property Minister Chris Skidmore said on 21 January that the UK Government had no…

Part I of this post provided an overview of the facts of the case and the recent opinion of AG Campos Sanchez-Bordona. Overall, the opinion is a mixed result. It makes some good points but also some ill-judged ones, and these will be explored in more detail in this post. Let us start with the positive…

This case concerned the famous Brompton bicycle which can be folded to carry away after use (Case C‑833/18, SI, Brompton Bicycle Ltd. v. Chedech / Get2Get). The bike was once protected by a patent and, following its expiry, the defendant (Chedech/Get2Get) embarked on selling a similar bike in Belgium (the designs of the two bikes…

In Response Clothing Ltd v The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd [2020] EWHC 148, His Honour Judge Hacon (“HHJ Hacon”) found that copyright subsisted in a fabric design as a work of artistic craftmanship and that the sale of garments made from such fabric amounted to copyright infringement. The case is an interesting development in English law…

Part I of this post discussed the current position of host providers and the changes that will be brought about by Article 17. Part II addresses the major problems in relation to Article 17 and how it should be implemented to try and minimize these. The host provider privilege as a safeguard for a diverse…