Welcome to the first trimester of the 2022 round up of EU copyright law! We started this rubric back in 2021. In this series, we update readers every three months on developments in EU copyright law. This includes Court of Justice (CJEU) and General Court judgments, Advocate Generals’ (AG) opinions, and important policy developments. You…

The UK government has run a consultation on the future of the UK’s exhaustion of IP rights regime. This ran for 12 weeks, closing on 31 August 2021. The consultation was open to responses from businesses, representative organisations, civil society organisations, legal practitioners, creators and consumers. The government is now considering the responses to the…

Part I of this post introduced the recent emergence of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), explained their basic characteristics and what they can represent. In this Part II we discuss copyright law aspects of NFTs, with a focus on the EU copyright acquis.   Where Copyright Law meets Blockchain As anticipated by the examples in Part I…

One of the most awaited copyright rulings of 2019 –  Nederlands Uitgeversverbond and Groep Algemene Uitgevers v Tom Kabinet Internet BV and Others (C-263/18), on the admissibility of digital exhaustion under the InfoSoc Directive – came out on 19 December, lost in the decisions galore issued by the CJEU the last working day before the…

On 17 September 2019, the Paris Court of First Instance (“court”) delivered its judgment in the dispute between UFC-Que Choisir (“UFC”), a consumer organisation, and a videogame distribution platform operated by Valve. Among other issues, the court was asked to decide whether subscribers to Valve’s platform should be allowed to resell videogames purchased digitally. The…

On 10 September 2019, AG Szpunar delivered his opinion in Nederlands Uitgeversverbond and Groep Algemene Uitgevers v. Tom Kabinet (C-263/18), concerning the lawfulness of Tom Kabinet’s sale of second-hand e-books. The referring court asked the CJEU whether the supply of e-books by downloading for permanent use is covered by the right of distribution under Article…

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…

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…