As we enter a new year, we would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes for 2019 to all of our readers, as well as reflect on developments in copyright over the past year.  Last year was a busy one in the copyright world, with a number of landmark CJEU decisions,…

On 12 December 2018 Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his Opinion in Case C-476/17, Pelham. The case concerns the practice of sampling, i.e. the reproduction of minimal parts of a phonogram for the purposes of using it in another phonogram. As harmonized by EU law, the phonogram producer holds a related right of reproduction (Article…

This article will be forthcoming in the March 2019 issue of Communications of the ACM, a computing professionals journal. The editors of Communications of the ACM have given permission for it to be pre-published for the Kluwer Copyright Blog.         Should European press publishers be granted a new intellectual property (IP) right…

The relation between freedom of expression and copyright in the EU is one of imprecision and uncertainty. In Funke Medien (Case C-469/17) the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) asks whether fundamental rights should permit the unauthorized use of military reports in the absence of an applicable copyright exception. In his Opinion, Advocate General (AG) Szpunar…

Introduction Since the British government has triggered Art. 50 TEU it can be considered a certainty that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. What is not clear to date are the exact terms that will shape the future relationship between the two parties – and thus the situation of British stakeholders in the…

This post was first published on the Kluwer Trademark Blog In a judgement of April 2018, the Regional Court of Hamburg has ruled on the use of original advertising material by non-authorized dealers and on how trademark law can bypass copyright law (308 O 231/16). The plaintiff manufactures saddle bags and other high quality cycling…

A recent decision of the Munich Regional Court marks the first-ever blocking order in Germany against a copyright infringing website (judgment of 1 February 2018 – BeckRS 2018, 2857; English translation available here). If confirmed by higher courts (the judgment is subject to ongoing appeal proceedings), the decision will indeed have paved the way for…

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…