Sampling is a technique used in the music industry which utilises parts of pre-existing recordings in order to create a new music composition. Although sampling has been a common practice and a widely-used method in many modern music productions, its legality under EU law is still to be determined. From the perspective of European copyright…

Decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof of September 21, 2017, file no. I ZR 11/16: “Vorschaubilder III” (“Thumbnails III”). In this decision, the Bundesgerichtshof (“BGH”) applies the latest CJEU case law on liability for linking, namely Svensson (C-466/12), GS Media (C-160/15), Filmspeler (C-527/15) and BREIN/Ziggo (C-610/15) to search engines and in particular to Google’s picture search….

The exceptions for reporting of current events and quotation facilitate the functioning of the media. On 27 July 2017, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) submitted several questions to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU or Court) on the balance between copyright exceptions and the fundamental freedoms of information and the media, as well as the…

Introduction On 30 June 2017, the German “Bundestag” adopted the “Act to Align Copyright Law with the Current Demands of the Knowledge-based Society” (“Urheberrechts-Wissensgesellschafts-Gesetz- UrhWissG”). It essentially reforms the terms of use of copyright protected works in the fields of education and research and will come into force on 1 March 2018. This new Act…

Decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof of April 27, 2017, file no. I ZR 247/15: “AIDA Kussmund” (“AIDA Kissmouth”) In “AIDA Kissmouth”, the German Bundesgerichtshof (“BGH”), Germany’s highest civil court, ruled on the interpretation of the “works in public places” exception pursuant to § 59 (1) German Copyright Act that implements Art. 5 (3) lit. h Directive 29/2001…

Legal enforcement of open source software license violations, in particular violations of the General Public License (GPL), has been established in Germany for quite some time. Back in 2004, the Regional Court of Munich I granted an injunction confirming copyright infringement on the basis of a violation of the terms of the GPLv2 (judgment of…

To ensure you don’t miss out on interesting IP law developments reported on our other IP blogs, we will, on a regular basis, provide you with an overview of the top 3 most-read posts from each of our IP law blogs.  Here are the top posts from June, July and August. Top 3 Kluwer Copyright…

Computer games are becoming more and more important, not only in everyday life but also in legal theory. The German Federal Supreme Court has now issued a decision on the online game World of Warcraft (decision of 06.10.2016, I ZR 25/15 – World of Warcraft I). In this decision, the Court addressed questions regarding the…

Lower courts can give fresh insight into the adjudication taking place at the highest national and European courts. This is especially true for the recent GS Media case. The German and Dutch courts have created new food for thought on the meaning of placing a hyperlink ‘for profit’. The exact meaning of this notion is…

Decision Landgericht (District Court) Hamburg of November 18, 2016 (file no. 310 O 402/16) Introduction In GS Media vs. Sanoma, the CJEU recently ruled that linking to illegal content may be considered to be a “communication to the public” and can therefore constitute copyright infringement (C-160/15 of 8 September 2016). The District Court Hamburg has…