A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder.
A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder. The supreme courts (Cour de Cassation and Conseil d’État) acts as a cassation jurisdiction, giving them supreme jurisdiction in quashing the judgments of inferior courts where those courts misapplied law. Generally, cassation is not based on outright violations of law, but on differing interpretations of law between the courts.
Augmented Reality (AR) uses technology to overlay real world, physical environments with virtual components like light, sound, video, images or GPS data. Once seen as a futuristic and ‘gimmicky’ area, AR is growing at a rapid pace and will soon form part of our everyday technology. Microsoft recently unveiled its AR wearable technology, ‘Hololens’ which is geared towards gaming and design and comes in the form of a headset.
One of the world’s largest agricultural machinery makers has stated that farmers do not acquire ownership rights in software embedded in their tractors. Instead, they receive an express or implied licence to use the software needed to operate the vehicle.
The Commercial Court has delivered a ruling which will have significant implications for music companies and ISPs, in regard to illegal downloading. The Court has granted three music companies, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music, an injunction requiring UPC Communications to take measures to stop illegal downloading of music.
The parties are due to return to court on 29 April with submissions on how the order can be implemented.
In the wake of its recent win against "screenscraper" website eDreams, Ryanair has claimed another victory following a referral from the Dutch Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the Database Directive (96/9/EC).
In brief, the CJEU held that owners of publically available databases, which do not fall under the protection of the Database Directive, are free to restrict the use of the data through contractual terms on their website. The decision in Case C – 30/14 Ryanair v PR Aviation BV marks the CJEU’s first copyright judgment of the year.
A photo taken in 2011 of a monkey grinning for the camera recently published by Wikipedia has sparked an interesting copyright debate. Although British photographer, David Slater, didn’t technically take the picture (the monkey did!) he does maintain that the picture is his property and that Wikipedia had no right to publish it. The publication of the picture by Wikipedia has apparently cost the photographer thousands of dollars in lost earnings.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit, only publish photos that are in the public domain as it is "a record of human knowledge, viewpoints and summaries that already exist and are expressed elsewhere". The photographer, spent time in Indonesia, followed the monkeys and set up the shot carefully so that the monkey could press the button and capture the picture. A spokesperson for Wikipedia has commented that nobody in fact owns the copyright as it can’t belong to the monkey and it has no human author in whom copyright is vested.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has delivered its judgment in Public Relations Consultants Association Ltd (PRCA) v Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd and Others, Case C-360/13. The CJEU confirmed that internet users who read an article on a media monitoring website do not require a copyright licence from the publisher, as it falls within an exception to copyright infringement.
The decision provides reassurance to internet users that they can view media monitoring reports online without fear of liability for copyright infringement.
The European Union is promising its citizens better access to online music thanks to a new directive focusing on “the collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market” (the Directive). The Directive, which was adopted by the European Council on 20 February, aims to simplify and facilitate cross-border music licensing for online service providers. This is good news for Irish consumers who are typically kept waiting for innovative new music streaming services to hit Irish shores. Irish artists will also benefit from quicker, more transparent payments of performing rights royalties.
The Directive has two principle aims:
To facilitate cross-border licensing of authors’ rights in online music; and
To make copyright collective management organisations (CMOs) (also known as collecting societies) more transparent and effective.
The CJEU has ruled in Svensson and Others v Retriever Sverige AB (C466/12) (Svensson) that providing a hyperlink to copyrighted works which are already freely available online does not constitute an infringement of copyright. However, if a link allows users to bypass technical measures restricting access to a site on which a copyrighted work appears, then infringement may occur.
The decision had been awaited with some trepidation due to the essential role linking plays in the day to day operation of the internet. A contrary ruling would have created a serious barrier to the interconnectivity upon which the internet thrives.