Guest Blog by Pamela Samuelson, Berkeley Law School Are programming languages, program functionality, and data interfaces protectable by copyright law or not? These questions were highly contentious in the United States during the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Plaintiffs in several cases argued that because these were parts of the “structure, sequence, and organization” (SSO) of…

On the 24th of May 2011 the European Commission has issued a Communication containing its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) strategy. The document has a promising title: “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights. Boosting creativity and Innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe.” In short, the…

One of the recent judgements of the Polish Supreme Court provides a good opportunity to review the basic rules applying to copyright contracts in Poland. The Polish copyright law treats copyright contracts in a rather strict and formal way. It specifically states that both assignment and license contracts only cover the co-called fields of exploitation…

For years, consumer representatives, citizen rights groups and academics have lobbied for a better balance between the interests of rights holders and consumers in copyright law. In particular the use of technical and contractual restrictions on the ability of consumers to play, copy, share or transfer digital content to their liking has been a notorious…

On 21 October 2010, the European Court of Justice rendered its judgement in case C-467/08 Padawan v SGAE, calling the current application of Spanish private copying levy into question. The judgement maintained that the Spanish private copying levy is abusive and that it does not meet with what Directive 2001/29/EC, on the harmonisation of certain…

On 16 June 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Union gave judgment in Case C-462/09, Stichting de Thuiskopie v. Opus Supplies Deutschland GmbH, Mijndert van der Lee and Hananja van der Lee (case C 462/09), a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (the Dutch Supreme Court). As in…

The dust has now settled on the Hargreaves Review – officially known as “A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth” – which was published during May 2011. The main focus of Professor Ian Hargreaves’s review was copyright law and he made a number of interesting recommendations in this area. Firstly, one of the major points…

Recently a Committee of inquiry appointed by the Swedish Government proposed a new copyright act to replace the present (Swedish) Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works, which came into force in 1961. The Committee was chaired by Professor Jan Rosén at the Faculty of Law, Stockholm University. According to the proposal the provisions…

On 24 May 2011, the European Commission announced a proposal for a directive on ‘certain permitted uses of orphan works’. This title perfectly conveys the scope of the proposal. Rather than adopting a generic approach to deal with the problem of orphan works, the Commission comes up with a set of measures designed for specific…

On the 24th and 25th of May, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy convened a forum on the future of the Internet, the e-G8 Forum, two days before the Meeting of the leaders of the G-8. This forum was intended to prepare the G-8 communiqué on the measures that Governments should adopt to protect children online,…