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…

Using newer forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI), including General Adversarial Networks (GANs), AI machines are increasingly good at emulating humans and laying siege to what has been a strictly human outpost: intellectual creativity. AI machines have composed polyphonic baroque music bearing the “style” of J.S. Bach. “Robot reporters” routinely write news bulletins and sports reports,…

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…

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…

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…

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…