The decade-long titanic battle between Oracle and Google over whether copyright law forbids unlicensed reimplementations of parts of the Java Application Program Interface (API) in a smartphone platform is finally over. In a blockbuster opinion for a 6-2 majority for the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer decisively supported Google’s fair use defense. The biggest…

In this new series we will be updating readers every three months on developments in EU copyright law. This will include Court of Justice (CJEU) and General Court judgments, Advocate Generals’ (AG) opinions, and important policy developments.   The end of 2020 Since this is the first issue of our round up, we have also…

The Court of Justice of the EU has handed down its judgment (18 December 2019, Case C-666/18) following the request for a preliminary ruling from the Paris Court of Appeal (IT Development v Free Mobile, 16 October 2018, No 17/02679; see our post here). In answer to the question: does the breach of a software…

On 28 March 2019, the German Federal Court (BGH) was asked to review a lower court’s decision on the legality of the unauthorised uploading of the 30 day free trial version of Microsoft software on an online trader’s website. This gave the BGH the chance to further clarify the applicability of the German Copyright Act…

A software development company was held to own the copyright in source code authored by its sole programmer on the basis that the relationship between the parties was one of employer and employee. Case date: 30 July 2018 Case number: [2018] EWHC 1924 (Ch) Court: High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Chancery Division A…

In January 2018, Google filed a petition to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review two adverse rulings by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the Oracle Am. Inc. v. Google Inc. case. The first was the Federal Circuit’s 2014 decision overturning a district court ruling that several thousand declarations that Google…

Following the Paris Court of Appeal judgment of 10 May 2016 (No 14/25055), the French courts have tended to consider that a licensee who breaches the terms of a software licence agreement does not commit copyright infringement, and that general contractual liability applies instead. In the aforementioned case, the Court dismissed the licensor’s (Oracle) claims…

Computer games are becoming more and more important, not only in everyday life but also in legal theory. The German Federal Supreme Court has now issued a decision on the online game World of Warcraft (decision of 06.10.2016, I ZR 25/15 – World of Warcraft I). In this decision, the Court addressed questions regarding the…

Lawful acquirers of computer programs cannot resell back-up copies of the programs. This is according to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in case C-166/15 (Ranks/Vasiļevičs v. Finanšu un ekonomisko noziegumu izmeklēšanas prokoratūra/Microsoft Corp). The circumstances of the case were that two persons sold, on an online marketplace, used copies of computer…

Another blocking order in the UK, however, this time there was some complexity about the actual acts of infringement. In Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & Ors v Sky UK Ltd & Ors, the High Court considered the circumstances in which website blocking orders should be granted against websites facilitating the use of a “sophisticated…