For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Copyright candies ... from the publishing world

Can you call it a holiday
if you don't have
at least a White Paper
to read while sunbathing?
Publishers I   Do you remember the Public Consultation on the Review of EU Copyright Rules [here and here], and the tweet by everybody's favourite Commissioner, ie Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier, announcing that the Commission would publish a White Paper before the summer break [and likely end of current Commission term, sighs an already nostalgic Merpel]

Well, it would now seem that the White Paper will be released in early July. 

In preparation for this event, yesterday the European Publishers Council (EPC) presented Monsieur Barnier with its own paper entitled Copyright Vision

This work contains a number of recommendations which, according to the press release, "are designed to help realise the full potential of the media and publishing ecosystem to the benefit of creators and every internet user."

Among other things, "whilst the EPC believes strongly that technology is there to help copyright work efficiently on the web, in certain areas, the law may need to be adapted for media and creative businesses to reach their full potential in the digital environment as follows:
  • Legal clarification concerning hyperlinks and licensing terms on the ‘open web’;
  • Legal protection for machine-readable rights information;
  • Hyperlinking to illegal copies to be treated as an infringement [in the aftermath of the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-466/12 Svensson see this Katpost here];
  • A new limited neighbouring right to stop unlicensed use of snippets [see below];
  • Fair browsing [cf the CJEU decision in Case C-360/13 PRCA v NLA, noted here]."
Have other stakehoders issued documents in anticipation of the forthcoming Commission's White Paper? If so, do let us know!


Publishers II  Speaking of "limited neighbouring right[s] to stop unlicensed use of snippets", IPKat readers will remember that last year Germany introduced a piece of legislation known as Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger that created a neighbouring right over news content [this Kat is not a great fan of this sort of initiatives, as explained here]

Alexander is hiding:
somebody wants to ask him
how to pronounce
"Leistungsschutzrecht
für Presseverlege"
New sections 87f, 87g and 87h of the German Copyright Act provide for the exclusive right of press publishers to exploit their content commercially for 1 year, thus preventing search engines and news aggregators from displaying non-insignificant excerpts from newspaper articles without paying a fee. Initiatives similar to the German one have been also considered - before being abandoned - by Belgium and France, and are still being discussed in Spain [here, but see the criticisms expressed by the Spanish Competition Authority at the end of May, when it said that initiatives like the German one might have anti-competitive effects]

The same day the German law entered into force Google News became opt-in [here]

However, this was not the end of the story.

As reported by PC World and stated in this press release [translated thanks to ... Google Translate], collecting society VG Media [earlier this year 12 German online news publishers acquired 50% stake with the aim of starting collecting the fee owed under the LSR] has filed a request before the Copyright Arbitration Board of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office following Google's refusal to negotiate with the collecting society and pay a "reasonable compensation" for the display of snippets.

But isn't Google News opt-in in Germany? If so, why should Google pay the fee? Could the dispute be over Search rather than News? Can anybody explain? 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Apart from how to pronounce "Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlege"...
it is written correctly "Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger"

Furthermore, "LSR" is not the abbreviation of this law, but merely the acronym of the word "Leistungsschutzrecht". As you may know, the "Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger" is not the only Leistungsschutzrecht (neighbouring right) under German copyright law.

Eleonora Rosati said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous: I apologise for my mistake and have now corrected the post

Aliki Foinikopoulou said...

LIBER and LERU (the Association of European Research Libraries and the League of European Research Universities) have published their response to the EPC's Copyright Vision, with a letter to the Directors-General of the European Commission DGs. The letter focuses on TDM and how a new exception in European copyright legislation is necessary on this.

See here for the link to the letter: http://libereurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/LIBER-EPC-letter.pdf

Eleonora Rosati said...

Thanks so much Aliki!

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