Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Who framed the CopyKat?

The UK government has confirmed another two years of funding for the City Of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit, or PIPCU, which has been spearheading a number of anti-piracy initiatives since its launch last year.

Finnish Parliamentarians have voted to reject a proposal to reform copyright laws by reducing infringements by private individuals to a misdemeanour. The bill reached the attention of lawmakers by way of a citizen’s initiative following a highly-publicised case in which anti-piracy authorities fined a 10-year old girl for illegally downloading pop music on to her home computer. The Finnish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee had already proposed rejecting the Bill.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps,
Jacques-Louis David (1805)
"Napoleon's conquest of Italy led to a copyright-fuelled opera boom" - well that caught my eye! And it seems a new study provides evidence of how copyright laws inspire more and higher-quality artistic works. Michela Giorcelli and Petra Moser, Stanford University economists, studied Italian opera from the late 1700s through 1900 and found that after Napoleon invaded Italy — bringing with him French copyright laws — those copyright laws were associated with both more and higher-quality operas. More here

Over on the IPKat, Eleonora has alerted all CopyKats to a new decision from the CJEU which follows in the wake of Svennson: in the  BestWater  case the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down a "landmark" verdict - ruling that embedding or framing copyrighted videos is not copyright infringement, even if the source video was uploaded without permission. The CJEU said (this is a translation from German and may not be wholly accurate) as long as the original video not altered or communicated to a new public.- and in this case the original video was already available on YouTube - embedding it is not seen as a new communication with the court saying "“The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology … does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [Article 3(1) of the EU Infosoc Directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication”. The CopyKat thinks this is an important decision - with major ramifications for owners of audio visual content - Eleonora has already updated this breaking news with a second post over on the IPKat with some assistance from a guest contribution from Oliver Löffel who says this was the answer to the question posed by the  Bundesgerichtshof (as translated):

The embedding, within one’s own website, of another person’s work made available to the public on a third-party website, by means of a link using the framing technology, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society [the InfoSoc Directive], insofar as the work concerned is neither directed at a new public nor communicated by using specific technical means that differ from that used for the initial communication. 

This means that embedding videos which are freely available on, for example (and is it was the case here) YouTube, does not constitute an infringement of the right of communication/making available to the public if the work concerned is neither directed at a new public nor communicated by using specific technical means different from that used for the initial communication.

Another case referencing Svennson is the recent decision by Mr Justice Arnold in 1967 Ltd & Others v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Others [2014] EWHC 3444 (Ch) (23 October 2014). Here - in another clear judgment on how website blocking injunctions should be applied for pursuant to section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (itself a result of Article 8.3 of the InfoSoc Directive which provides that  "Member States shall ensure that rightsholders 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) Arnold J noted that the following four matters had to be established: (1) that the Defendants are service providers; (2) that users (i.e. consumers) and/or the operators of the target websites infringe the Claimant's copyrights; (3) that users and/or operators of the target websites use the Defendants' services (here ISPs - the big UK five of BSkyB, BT, EE, Talk Talk and Virgin) to do that; and (4) that the Defendants have actual knowledge. These four matters had been covered by the record label claimants and so Arnold J had no difficulty in finding all four matters established.  And Arnold J found that users infringe by copying and communicating the Claimant's works to the public and also found that the website operators infringe by communicating those works to the public - and here held that in the case of the 13 target websites, it is a communication to a new public, "...which is to say a public which was not considered by the rights holders concerned when they authorised the original communication or other act of dissemination of the recordings." (emphasis added).

1 comment:

Ben said...

BLACA have now circulated the 2014 Final Report of ALAI on the Svensson case which concludes that:

"the 'new public' criterion developed in the CJEU's case law construing the exclusive right of communication to the public is in conflict with international treaties and EU directives" (not least the Berne Convention, WCT, the InfoSoc Directive - as well as previous decisions of the CJEU).

The Opinion can be found in French and English here