Literary works, photos, films and music and other items that constitute our common cultural heritage are stored in the collections of cultural institutions, such as publicly accessible libraries, museums and archives. Many of these items are still protected by copyright, but their right holders cannot be identified or located – i.e. the works are so-called…

On April 24, 2012 the Advocate General Yves Bot delivered his opinion in the UsedSoft case (C-128/11) concerning exhaustion in digital products that have not been distributed on a material carrier. I think this may be one of the more interesting and bold opinions in the area of copyright law, although I am aware the…

Without much noise, France recently adopted Act Nr. 2012-287 of 1st March 2012 relating to the digital exploitation of unavailable books of the 20th century. Contrary to past initiatives from the French lawmaker, the Act does not relate to orphan works, but rather to out-of-commerce works. Or, more precisely: books. According to the explanatory memorandum…

The Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works, introduced in the European Parliament on 24 May 2011, has been following its merry way through the legislative meanders ever since. The debates around the text of the proposal are heating up right now, for the European Commission pushes for rapid adoption while…

Patents Court London, 19 January 2012, Hoffman v Drug Abuse Resistance Education. A charity infringed copyright in photographs by including them in its website withouth the author’s permission. The fact that the charity was under a good-faith impression that it had permission to use the photographs, as they appeared in a website that was covered…

This entry deals with some aspects of the decision by order by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-302/10 (Infopaq II) on 17 January. The reference for a preliminary ruling was brought to the CJEU by the Danish Supreme Court and concerns the interpretation of Article 5(1) and 5(5) of…

On May 22 of this year Directive 2001/29/EC was exactly 10 years old – a birthday largely gone unnoticed. The ‘Copyright Directive’ or ‘Information Society Directive’ (for experts: ‘InfoSoc Directive’) marked an important stage in the process of harmonization of copyright and related rights in the European Union. In contrast to earlier directives that dealt…

On the 28 of October the European Commission adopted a Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation. The Recommendation follows up on a similar Recommendation from 2006, updating for new developments such as the launch in 2008 of Europeana and the adoption of the Commission’s proposal for a Directive…

Finland: Finreactor I, Supreme Court (Korkein oikeus), 30 June 2010. Filesharing: The defendants were administrators of the Finreactor BitTorrent file sharing network. The networks’ users could illegally download copyrighted works. The network was built so that the files were not available on the Finreactor’s site but resided on users’ own computers. Finreactor had a tracker…

In a somewhat surprising move, on 12 July 2011 the lower house of the Spanish Parliament urged the Government to abolish the so-called “canon digital” (the private copying levy on digital media) and replace it by a “less arbitrary and indiscriminate system” that provide rightsholders with a “fair and equitable remuneration based on the effective…