The IPKat has learned from his friend Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg) how media giant Sony BMG has been asking the European Court of Justice today (Case C-240/07 Sony Music Entertainment) to uphold its rights to some of Bob Dylan's most famous songs, including "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Mr Tambourine Man".
Right: Bob Dylan, in 1966
As the law in the European Union stands at present, works are protected by copyright throughout the 27-nation bloc as long as they were protected in at least one of the EU member states on 1 July 1995. According to Sony BMG lawyer Martin Schaefer, in an interview before today's hearing, Sony had copyright protection over the Dylan tracks in 1995 in the UK. Sony objected that German music producer Falcon Neue Medien Vetrieb GmbH was selling Dylan's music in albums entitled "Bob Dylan -- Blowin' in the Wind'' and "Bob Dylan -- Gates of Eden" without authorisation. However, Falcon has persuaded the German courts that Sony BMG has no rights in Germany for Dylan songs published before 1966 because no copyright protected sound recordings before that year.
The three questions which the German Bundesgerichtshof (Supreme Court) has referred for a ruling are
"Does the term of protection granted by Directive 2006/116 ... on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights ... under the conditions set out in Article 10(2) thereof apply also in the case of subject-matter that has not at any time been protected in the Member State in which protection is sought?The IPKat promises to follow this dispute, which should result in an Advocate General's Opinion and eventually a ruling.
If Question 1 is to be answered in the affirmative:
Do national provisions governing the protection of rightholders who are not Community nationals constitute national provisions within the meaning of Article 10(2) of Directive 2006/116?
Does the term of protection granted pursuant to Article 10(2) of Directive 2006/116 also apply to subject-matter that, on the date specified in Article 10(1) of that directive, fulfilled the criteria set out in Council Directive 92/100 ... on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property, but whose rightholder is not a Community national?"
Bob Dylan here and here. Bob Dylan impersonators here and here (best viewed with the sound muted).
Other famous Dylans here and here
Not such famous Dylans here
Catin in the Well here