Archives: Copyright

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Digital Copyright Directive published…and already the subject of complaint

The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the Directive), has now been published in the Official Journal, and entered into force on Friday 7 June 2019. EU member states have two years in which to transpose the Directive (which is now officially Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital … Continue Reading

ATB Sales Limited v Rich Energy: A ‘Staggering’ Use of Court time?

The recent judgment in ATB Sales Limited v Rich Energy Limited [2019] EWHC 1207 (IPEC) illustrates the difficulties parties will have in defending copyright infringement claims over artistic works, if they can only provide limited documentary proof of the creative design process. Background ATB Sales Limited (“Claimant”) brought the action against three Defendants: Rich Energy … Continue Reading

Scripts and Copyright: Application ‘Pitched’ Out of Court

Seeking an interim injunction to protect against copyright infringement can often run into difficulties, as demonstrated by the recent judgment in Happy Camper Productions Ltd v British Broadcasting Corporation [2019] EWHC 558 (Ch). The dispute centred on the script for an episode of ‘Pitching in’, a comedy-drama programme by the BBC about a widower in … Continue Reading

European Parliament Adopts the Copyright Directive

Despite the consistent and continuous opposition to the controversial Article 13, the European Parliament has adopted the ‘Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market’ (the Directive). MEPs debated and subsequently voted in favour of the Directive, 348 votes to 274 (36 MEPs abstained). The Final Wording of the Directive The latest version of the … Continue Reading

Continued Progress in Developing the Digital Marketplace for Copyrighted Works

The Copyright Act often seems to lag behind technology, with infringements rampant on the Wild Internet.  Not so, as was evidenced by the robust discussions at the third public meeting on Developing the Digital Marketplace for Copyrighted Works, hosted by the US Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force on March 28, 2019. The Internet … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies That, Yes, You Have to Register Your Copyright, and No, You Cannot Recover Your Expert Witness Fees in Copyright Cases

In a pair of unanimous rulings on March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court clarified (1) that the U.S. Copyright Office must issue a registration certificate before a plaintiff can commence suit and (2) that a prevailing plaintiff cannot recover fees for expert witnesses, jury consultants or other “costs” that are not specifically called for in … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Tackles Defining “registration has been made” in §411(a) of the Copyright Statute

Enforcement of a copyright requires that “a registration of the copyright claim has been made.” But what does this mean? On January 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com to decide the meaning of this phrase and, in particular, whether submission of the registration application is sufficient.… Continue Reading

The EU’s Digital Copyright Directive – where are we now?

In 2016 the EU proposed the “Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market” (the Directive). Since then, the Directive has been widely debated at EU level and has been the subject of intense campaigning and lobbying, with various interested parties writing numerous open letters to the EU Council’s Working Party on Intellectual Property, the … Continue Reading

Anti-counterfeiting operations plan to tackle intellectual property crime

Counterfeit goods now account for up to 2.5% of world trade and 5% of imports in the EU and are a significant problem for many industries in a rapidly evolving digital world. As businesses are aware, tackling IP infringements in counterfeit goods by law enforcement alone is not always effective. Therefore, it will be welcome … Continue Reading

New Jurisprudence Rendered By Spanish Courts Facilitates Closing Of Websites

Recent jurisprudence rendered by Spanish Courts establishes that in the case of copyright infringement over the internet, it is not necessary to sue the infringer, but rather the IT intermediaries that host the website. The Court of Appeal in Barcelona has now dismissed an appeal filed by several IT companies against the first instance Judgment … Continue Reading

Zazzle And Other Print-On-Demand Websites Can Breathe A Sigh Of Relief . . . For Now

Last month, in a February 8, 2018 Order, the Central District of California vacated its injunction in Greg Young Publishing, Inc. v. Zazzle, Inc., 2:16-cv-04587-SVW-KS, in which Zazzle was “permanently enjoined from infringing any of the exclusive rights in 17 U.S.C. § 106 with respect to Plaintiff’s copyrighted works…”  See Permanent Injunction and Order, October 27, 2017.  … Continue Reading

Key Intellectual Property Enforcement Mechanism or Toothless Tiger? – The US Department of Justice and Department of State Launch Intellectual Property (IP) Law Enforcement Coordinator Network

On Friday, December 15, 2017, the US Department of Justice and Department of State announced the launch of an IP Law Enforcement Coordinator Network.  The Network focuses on international trademark counterfeiting, copyright piracy and other forms of intellectual property rights infringement across the world, spanning all industry sectors.  Though the components of the Network are … Continue Reading

‘Minute Winner’ loses out in TV format copyright claim

Can copyright subsist in the format of a television show? Until recently, the only judicial decision on this question was back in 1989 in a case concerning the well-known talent show ‘Opportunity Knocks’. In that case, Hughie Green, the show’s author, producer and compere, argued that certain distinctive features repeated in every show, including the … Continue Reading

Brexit – how will my IP rights be affected?

The two year countdown to Brexit has begun. With the clock ticking, there is now a more urgent need for businesses to plan for the impact that Brexit will have on their operations. We have produced an updated briefing for intellectual property owners explaining the likely implications for their EU-wide IP protection, particularly where there … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Resolves Split on Design Copyright Eligibility

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc., which, in the Court’s words “resolve[s] widespread disagreement over the proper test” for determining when “the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection.”  Slip Op. at 1.  Varsity Brands, a cheerleading uniform manufacturer, filed the … Continue Reading

Copying Classic Designs is Now Off Limits

In May 2016 we reported an important change in UK copyright law. The repeal of section 52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 removed an exception from UK law that when a work protected by artistic copyright has been exploited industrially (by making and selling more than 50 copies) the copyright term is … Continue Reading

‘Fair dealing’ in a digital world

Our appetite for data has, arguably, never been greater. The advent of mobile technology has only fuelled that appetite by allowing us to consume increasing amounts of data on the move on our smartphones and tablets.  For many of us, our smartphone is our primary source of data.  A recent survey found that 82% of … Continue Reading

EU – When will hyperlinks be unlawful?

Following the uncertainty created by earlier rulings, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down another judgment on when hyperlinking will be unlawful.   The ruling focuses on Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive and, in particular, the meaning of “communication to the public”.  The question before the Court was – when … Continue Reading
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