A year after the adoption of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market, many questions about its compatibility with fundamental rights remain unanswered. Germany, the epicenter of public protests against the directive’s most controversial provisions, is also the origin of frequent fundamental rights-related requests for preliminary rulings on EU copyright…

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…

The first part of this blogpost discussed the interpretation given to the right of phonogram producers under Article 2(c) of Directive 2001/29/EC (InfoSoc Directive) and Article 9(1)(b) of Directive 2006/115 (Rental and Lending Rights Directive) by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU or Court) in Pelham. Contrary to the Opinion of Advocate…

Following the CJEU’s judgment of 12 September 2019, the German national related right in favour of press publishers established in 2013 is unenforceable for formal reasons. But a new related right will be introduced shortly with the implementation of the DSM Directive. The competition law issues brought up in Germany will remain for the EU…

On 29 July the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) finally rendered its long-awaited judgment in Case C-476/17, Pelham v Hütter and Schneider-Esleben., together with its judgments on two other cases: Case C-516/17, Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck and Case C-469/17, Funke Medien NRW GmbH v Bundesrepublik Deutschland. All three cases are…

European Court of Justice decisions of July 29, 2019 (C-469/17  and C-516/17) The abuse of copyright as a “legal weapon” to suppress press reports is not a new development – for decades authors and rightholders have used their exclusive rights to prevent the publication of unpleasant information. The situation in practice The situation is always…

The turbulent relationship between copyright law and the freedoms of information and expression lies at the heart of the recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the case Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck (C 516/17). Part I of this blogpost critically overviewed the CJEU’s main principles of analysis…

On 29 July 2019, the CJEU delivered its hotly awaited decision in the case Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck (C 516/17). The decision is part of a trilogy of preliminary references raised by the German courts focusing on copyright exceptions and the interaction of copyright law with fundamental rights (Pelham, C‑476/17 and Funke Medien…

German Federal Supreme Court’s decisions of 21 February 2019 (ref.: I ZR 98/17, I ZR 99/17 and I ZR 15/18) Protection of moral rights in Germany, in particular the right to prohibit distortion of the work Moral rights derived from copyright are not harmonized within the European Union. Rather, every EU member state has developed…

Introduction and background Most internet pages are put together from different elements and can include text, pictures or videos which are originally displayed on websites and stored on servers of third parties. Visitors to the internet page usually cannot distinguish between content that is stored on servers controlled by the webpage owner and that stored…