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…

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…