Since 2012 a multidisciplinary research group at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam has been conducting a large-scale empirical study of Alternative Compensation Systems (ACS). In simple terms, ACS are legal mechanisms that for a small monthly fee would authorize non-commercial online uses by individuals, including the downloading and sharing of protected…

On June 4th, the US Copyright Office published a report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. The report addresses two situations where the current US copyright system may not fulfill its aim to “promote the Progress of Science”: orphan works and mass-digitization. As regards orphan works, the Office notes that a user’s ability to seek…

On 16th April 2015 the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) delivered its final judgment in a lengthy legal standoff, which began its journey through the judiciary in 2009. The judgment is not yet available but is discussed in a press release here.  Since that time libraries and publishing houses have fought with one another…

In its recent decision (22 January 2015) in the Allposters case (C-419/13), the ECJ confirmed that exhaustion of the distribution rights does not apply to works that have been modified. The copyright owner can therefore still oppose the distribution of the modified work, even if he had agreed to the distribution of the original work….

The book “The Variable Scope of the Exclusive Economic Rights in Copyright” recently published in Kluwer’s Information Law Series is the result of my doctoral research (which led to a doctoral dissertation defended at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2011).  This article provides an overview of the research described in the book, followed by a more…

“What the Court did not consider though, is that the outcome of the application of the 3-step test to the digitisation of each individual work for the purposes of making it available for research and private study purposes may conflict with the absolute prohibition of digitising the entire collection.” Judgment CJEU of 11 September 2014,…

“Before finalising its decision however, it is seeking the CJEU’s input on whether end users, who view web-pages on their computers without downloading or printing them, are committing infringements of copyright if they lack a licence from the rightholder.” On 29 June 2013 the UK Supreme Court referred a series of questions in Case C-360/13 Public…

The European Copyright Society, a group of prominent European scholars, today issued an opinion on the Svensson case (Case C-466/12), which is currently before the European Court of Justice. The case, which was referred to the Court by the Swedish Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) on 18 October 2012, raises the important question whether setting…

Playing Catch 22 with cultural heritage is quite simple: since cultural heritage institutions hardly ever are in a position to digitize their collection because of a lack of financial resources, they obtain funding on the basis of public/private partnerships. Chances are that in return for the financial support needed for digitization, the private party will…

Last week, the European Parliament approved the draft Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works. The approval of the Council of Ministers is expected to occur shortly. This is big news indeed, for it’s the first draft directive in the area of copyright law to make it this far in more than 10 years….