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 13 November 2018, the CJEU clarified the scope of EU copyright law by excluding works of taste from copyright protection. This marks the end of a three-year long dispute, which arose in 2015 between two cheese producers and was based on the idea that the taste of a food product is copyright protected. In…

On 4 June 2018, one of the core concepts of copyright – the copyright work – was disputed at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The “cheese battle”, which started in 2015 at the Court of First Instance in Gelderland (the Netherlands) between HEKS’NKAAS (applicant) and ‘Witte Wievenkaas’ (defendant), resulted in a…

Whether taste constitutes protectable subject-matter under EU copyright law is one of the questions which the CJEU will have to answer in the near future. Indeed, the Dutch Court of Appeals of Arnhem-Leeuwarden has, in the course of an appeal procedure (only available in Dutch), turned to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on the…

‘Please go!’ said pop group Golden Earring to their music publisher Nanada when they put an end to their publishing contract! As it sometimes happens in long-standing relationships, the once harmonious author/publisher cooperation had deteriorated to such an extent that a break-up was inevitable. Unfortunately, Golden Earring’s way of going about it brought both parties…

Blockchain technology seems to be all the rage nowadays. In simple terms, blockchain enables parties who do not know or trust each other to maintain a common set of records without the need for a trusted third party intermediary. Bitcoin, the first major successful cryptocurrency, uses blockchain to keep track of the supply and flow…

On 22 November 2016, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam decided the case Pearson v. Bär Software (the judgment is only available in Dutch). The judgment seems remarkable in light of the CJEU’s earlier ruling in the Ryanair case. How do they compare? The Pearson case The Pearson v. Bär Software case considered a collection…

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…

It could be called the Dutch case of the summer of 2016: the question of whether beer manufacturer Bavaria’s slogan “Zo. Nu eerst een Bavaria” (translated: “So. Now first a Bavaria”) is a work entitled to copyright protection. In summary proceedings, the District Court of The Hague decided that the slogan is a work. The…

Yes, e-lending can land itself a spot under the public lending right. That is what the European Court of Justice held in its preliminary ruling in the case between Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken v. Stichting Leenrecht (10 November 2016, case C‑174/15). The decision clarifies the Rental and Lending Rights Directive’s scope of application. It is an…