The Advocate General, Yves Bot, of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week delivered his opinion in the Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner Case, C‑362/14 (the Opinion). The Opinion, which is advisory in nature, recommends that the Safe Harbour programme be invalidated and that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (the DPC) be empowered to carry out a full investigation as to the adequacy of protection afforded to the personal data of Facebook’s EU users.
The Irish High Court has issued a significant decision in Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited & anor v- Dunnes Stores (No.2)  IEHC 551holding that a plaintiff is entitled as of right to an injunction where a trade mark is infringed in the course of a comparative advertising campaign even where the advertising campaign in question has ended. The defendant has indicated that it will be appealing the finding of liability made by the court.
Following the recent Court of Justice decision in the Costeja case, Google launched a service last Friday that will allow European data subjects to request the removal of search results for queries that include their name where those results are "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were processed". The request form is available online.
The UK Court of Appeal has issued a significant judgment on the scope of protection afforded by Registered Community Designs (RCDs) in Magmatic Ltd v PMS International Ltd. The case concerned a claim of infringement brought by Magmatic Ltd (Magmatic), creator of the popular children’s ride-on suitcase range, Trunki, against PMS International Ltd (PMS), which manufactured a discount variant of ride-on suitcases inspired by the Trunki range. The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge, Justice Arnold, had erred in principle by disregarding surface decoration and colour contrast in his global assessment of the similarities between the two products.
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.
Last week, the Copyright Review Committee (the Committee) published its long-awaited report aimed at reducing barriers to innovation in the digital environment. The Committee was set up in 2011 and tasked with the job of developing proposals for legislative reform in the contentious area of copyright law.