The case of Deckmyn v Vandersteen (Case C-201/13) on parody considers a set of questions related to the right to freedom of expression conflicting with copyright, and the impact of the Information Society (Infosoc) Directive 2001/29. In particular, it raises the question whether the parody exception must be given an autonomous and uniform interpretation throughout the European Union, despite the optional nature of the parody exception mentioned in Article 5(3)(k) of the Directive 2001/29.
In the case of Paramount Home Entertainment International Ltd v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd ( EWHC 3479 (Ch)) the High Court once again showed its support for copyright holders, granting six major film companies blocking orders under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 against the UK’s six main internet service providers, requiring the ISPs to block access to TubePlus and SolarMovie, two websites that had been providing access via an online database to (but not hosting) a large range of television programmes and films without the authorisation of the relevant copyright owners.Continue reading
On the 24th of June 2013, freelance journalist Sheron Boyle wrote a piece for the PressGazette detailing her concerns about a worrying practice which has become increasingly more prevalent in the newspaper industry; “byline banditry.” This is when a freelance journalist sells their first rights of publication to a paper, only to find after publication that their work is being accredited to the staffer for whom the freelancer had written the piece. Continue reading
The recent Donald Ashby (sub nom Ashby Donald) decision of the European Court of Human Rights has revived interest in the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression. The litigation arose because two of the defendant photographers had put on their US website pictures taken by the third at the Paris fashion shows. Continue reading
Back in July 2011 I commented on the Court of Appeal judgment in Newspaper Licensing Agency v Meltwater ( EWCA Civ 890) and explained how the reach of digital copyright had accidentally been increased beyond that in the offline world. That was as a result of accepting that transient and temporary copies created in computer memory count as copies for copyright purposes. Continue reading
Only a few weeks after the Strasbourg Court’s judgment in the case of Ashby Donald and others v. France (ECtHR 10 January 2013, see our Inforrm post here) the Court of has decided a new case of conflicting rights between copyright and freedom of expression. The case of Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (The Pirate Bay) v. Sweden, Appl. nr. 40397/12 concerned the complaint by two of the co-founders of “The Pirate Bay”, that their conviction for complicity to commit crimes in violation of the Copyright Act had breached their freedom of expression and information.
In the case of Ashby Donald and others v France (Judgment of 10 January 2013) the Court of Human Rights has, for the first time in a judgment on the merits, clarified that a conviction based on copyright law for illegally reproducing or publicly communicating copyright protected material can be regarded as an interference with the right of freedom of expression and information under Article 10 of the European Convention. Such interference must be in accordance with the three conditions enshrined in the second paragraph of Article 10 of the Convention. Continue reading