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Friday, 23 May 2008

Highway 61 Referred

While the IPKat's attention was transfixed yesterday by the Aerotel patent and all sorts of other distractions, Advocate General Dámaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer was advising the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Case C-240/07 Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH v Falcon Neue Medien Vertrieb GmbH that works covered by US copyright that was granted protection in the UK are not covered by Directive 2006/116 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights. The German Bundesgerichtshof had sought a preliminary ruling as to whether Sony BMG's rights were covered by this Directive, which gives copyright protection throughout the European Union to works that were protected in one of the countries on 1 July 1995. Sony has maintained that its US copyright in a number of Bob Dylan tracks was recognized under British law at that date, but it has struggled so far to prevent German music producer Falcon Neue Medien Vetrieb GmbH from selling three albums of Bob Dylan's music (The Times They Are A-Changin', Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home) that were released in the US in 1964 and 1965 . The questions referred to the Court, in full, are as follows:

"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?

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?".
The text of Article 10(2) is as follows:
"The terms of protection provided for in this Directive shall apply to all works and subject matter which were protected in at least one Member State on the date referred to in paragraph 1 [ie 1 July 1995], pursuant to national provisions on copyright or related rights, or which meet the criteria for protection under [Council Directive 92/100/EEC of 19 November 1992 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of
intellectual property]".
This Opinion is so far available in only seven official languages of the court, but not yet in English. The Advocate General's actual words are as follows:

"(1) Eu égard aux conditions posées par l’article 10, paragraphe 2, le délai de protection prévu par la directive 2006/116/CE, du Parlement européen et du Conseil, du 12 décembre 2006, relative à la durée de protection du droit d'auteur et de certains droits voisins, s’applique également lorsque l’objet controversé n’a jamais été protégé dans l’État membre dans lequel sa protection est demandée, sans préjudice des dispositions prévues au même article 10, paragraphe 3.

(2) Les dispositions nationales, au sens de l’article 10, paragraphe 2, de la directive 2006/116/CE ne comprennent pas les règles des États membres traitant de la protection des titulaires de droits qui ne sont pas ressortissants d’un État membre de la Communauté.

(3) Il incombe au juge national de vérifier, conformément à l’article 7, paragraphe 2, de la directive 2006/116/CE et aux traités internationaux qui s’imposent dans son ordre juridique, que le délai de l’article 10, paragraphe 2, de cette directive concernant les objets qui répondaient au 1er juillet 1996 aux conditions de protection de la directive 92/100/CEE du Conseil, du 19 novembre 1992, relative au droit de location et de prêt et à certains droits voisins du droit d'auteur dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle, s’applique aux titulaires de droits qui n’arborent pas la nationalité d’un État membre de la Communauté".

As usual, the IPKat welcomes comments from those whose linguistic talents lie more firmly in any of the available languages than his does.

Highway 61 here
Route 66 (European Court of Justice version) here

1 comment:

Tomasz Rychlicki said...

I hope it helps a little:

1. The term of protection granted by Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 12 December 2006 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, without prejudice to the provisions of article 10(3) of the Directive.

2. National provisions governing the protection of rightholders who are not Community nationals does not constitute "national provisions" within the meaning of Article 10(2) of Directive 2006/116.

3. It is left to the national court to verify, on the basis of artice 7(2) Directive 2006/116 and international agreements that are part of its legal system, if the term of protection granted pursuant to article 10(2) of Directive 2006/116 for works, which on 1 July 1995 met the criteria for protection laid down in Council Directive 92/100/EEC of 19 November 1992 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property, is applicable to rightholders who are not Community nationals.

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