EU copyright reform is upon is. Once again, the Member States will need to develop their own implementations of a new piece of European copyright law. This time, the task is far from easy. Due to political turbulence in the legislative process, the resulting text of the Directive is extremely complex. Because of this, there…

A software development company was held to own the copyright in source code authored by its sole programmer on the basis that the relationship between the parties was one of employer and employee. Case date: 30 July 2018 Case number: [2018] EWHC 1924 (Ch) Court: High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Chancery Division A…

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…

In Happy Camper Productions Ltd v British Broadcasting Corporation, the claimant sought an interim injunction in the context of alleged infringement of copyright in a script. The claimant failed in its application for multiple reasons as we explore. The claimant company was the purported owner of the copyright in a script for a pilot episode…

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…

The European Parliament has just approved the new text of the copyright directive, which will now go to the Council for a final vote on April 15th, 2019. This legislation not only modifies the copyright framework as set out in the Information Society Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC) but it will also modify the liability regime as…

On Valentine’s Day, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (docket no 4 R 119/18a) issued a judgment on a complaint by the Austrian broadcasting company Puls 4 against YouTube, predating the much-discussed Article 17 (formerly known as Article 13) of the Copyright Directive. The petition requested aimed to prevent YouTube from making available videos containing…

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…