The High Court in Muwema v Facebook Ireland Ltd  IEHC 519 held that Facebook had no duty to remove defamatory content posted by an anonymous third party. Justice Binchy did, however, make a Norwich Pharmacal order requiring Facebook to disclose the identity and location of the person operating the page involved.
On 28th July 2016, the Irish Court of Appeal, in Sony Music Entertainment (Ireland) Ltd. & Ors v UPC Communications Ireland Ltd.  IECA 231, confirmed that national courts have jurisdiction to grant graduated response system (GRS) injunctions against innocent intermediaries, such as ISPs, in response to alleged copyright infringement. This is the first GRS order of its kind made anywhere in the EU.
The Court held that Article 8(3) of the Information Society Directive (2001/29/EC) (the 2001 Directive), implemented in Ireland by section 40(5A) of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, provided the jurisdiction to grant such orders. Article 8(3) requires Member States to ensure that rightholders are in a position to apply for an injunction against intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe a copyright or related right.
In 2013, Mr Justice Gilligan refused an injunction sought by Galway Free Range Eggs Limited restraining Hillsbrook Eggs Limited from packaging or promoting their products under the name “O’Brien’s of Galway Free Range Eggs”. The Court held that it was not satisfied that the packaging used by the defendant was likely to deceive the public but did accept that there were issues to put forward to trial.
The substantive High Court hearing was held recently before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor and one of the bigger issues before the Court was the use of survey evidence and the weight to be attached to such opinion evidence. The Court was highly sceptical of the value of market opinions and related questionnaires and stated that in this specific case “the evidence offered on behalf of the plaintiff concerning brand confusion was tenuous and unreliable”.
Following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, the EU Trade Secrets Directive (2016/943)on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure will enter in to force on the 5 July 2016. Member States will have two years from this …
The High Court in the UK has again endorsed the use of predictive coding, ruling it as being the most appropriate and proportionate approach to disclosure despite disagreement between the parties surrounding its use. In a previous blog, we outlined how the UK High Court in the Pyrrho case ruled that predictive coding was appropriate to discharge a parties obligations regarding electronic disclosure.
In the most recent judgment, (yet to be published), the concept of using predictive coding in a disclosure exercise was strongly contested. Berwin Leighton Paisner acting for the respondent note that the petitioner’s solicitors wished to adopt a “traditional” approach to document review, where the inboxes of an agreed a list of custodians would be filtered using an agreed list of search terms, and the responsive documents would be subject to a manual review. It was put to the court that the costs of the traditional approach would be excessive, and that superior results could be achieved at a more proportionate cost using predictive coding.
The European Council was yesterday due to adopt the directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (“Trade Secrets Directive“), following a vote by the European Parliament on 15 April 2016. This was following a long legislative process which began with a draft directive in 2013.
Continue Reading Can you keep a (trade) secret?
Under the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC) the owner of copyright material has the exclusive right to control any "communications to the public" of their protected works.
In an advisory opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU"), Attorney General Wathelet (the "AG"), recently considered whether the act of posting a hyperlink directing users to infringing content on a third party website would give rise to copyright infringement.
On 16 March 2016, the Advocate General (AG) delivered an Opinion, in McFadden v Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH Case-484/14, that a business offering free WiFi access to the public cannot be held liable for copyright infringement committed by a user of that WiFI. The decision confirms the applicability of the E-Commerce Directive, and the “mere conduit” defence, to free WiFi providers.
The High Court in the UK has fully endorsed the use of predictive coding in discharging a parties obligation regarding electronic disclosure. Master Matthews, in Pyrrho Investments and others v MWB Property and others  EWHC 256 (Ch), noted in this case that "there were no factors of any weight" to point in the direction of not using predictive coding for the disclosure process. This is the first time a UK Court has given judgment on the area, while noting the limited Irish and US jurisprudence on the topic.
Predictive coding, often referred to as technology assisted review, is the use of computer software to review and analyse documents, determining if they are of relevance to the issues of the case. It is not without human input however, as the computer must first be "trained" in order to determine relevance. Based on the training received the software can review and score documents for relevancy, subject to quality assurance exercises carried out by the human reviewer.
The conference on Modernising Copyright, jointly organised by the Irish Centre for European Law and the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, brought together a number of interesting academics, practitioners and commentators, for a lively discussion concerning various aspects of the future of copyright law in Europe. Among the issues addressed were the development of a Digital Single Market (DSM) in Europe, the nature of copyright exceptions and limitations, and the position of online service providers and intermediaries vís-a-vís copyright infringement.