1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 30 January 2015

InfoSoc Directive fair compensation claims and jurisdiction: your chance to influence things

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has just been reminding us of the forthcoming Court of Justice the European Union (CJEU) reference in Case C-572/14 Austro-Mechana. This is a request for a preliminary ruling from the Austrian Oberster Gerichtshof on the following question:
Does a claim for payment of ‘fair compensation’ under Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 ... on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society which, in accordance with Austrian law, is directed against undertakings that are first to place recording material on the domestic market on a commercial basis and for consideration constitute a claim arising from ‘tort, delict or quasi-delict’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Council Regulation ... 44/2001 ... on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters?
If you would like to comment on this case please email policy@ipo.gov.uk by 9 February 2015. This will give the IPO a window of opportunity within which it will be able to consider whether the UK government should make submissions on this question or whether it should leave it to others. If you can't respond in time, don't panic:
We understand how difficult it is to provide detailed comments in the time available. The IPO has tight time limits in which to consider and provide advice to ministers on CJ cases. In order to help us provide the right advice, we just need a short email by the deadline stating whether you think the UK should intervene and some general points about how you think we should answer the questions. 
You are welcome to follow this email up with more detailed comments after the deadline, which can be taken into consideration if we have chosen to submit observations or if we decide to attend a hearing.
NOTE: since this piece was posted, our friend and reader Axel Paul Ringelhann has furnished us with his English translation of the referring court's decision.  Thanks so much!

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