Friday fantasies

Friday's the day to check the IPKat's side bar for evidence of exciting new events. Quite a few have been added since last week, the Kats are pleased to say.

Here's a little news about one member of the IPKat's blogging team. Team member Jeremy has spent a very hectic past three years as a general Intellectual Property Consultant to London-based law firm Olswang LLP. From 1 May 2010, while he will remain Intellectual Property Consultant to the firm, his involvement there will henceforth be focused on specific projects only and he will be working principally from home. his change will free up some precious time for the development of Jeremy's beloved IPKat and related weblogs, for greater freedom to participate in conferences and seminars and for the resumption of some of the teaching and research activities which lay at the heart of his original career as an academic. Jeremy's contact details remain unchanged, as does his enthusiasm for intellectual property. The most perceptible change is the appearance of some more white spaces in his diary ...

In July 2009 the IPKat reported on the German dispute, Rapidshare v Gema (see earlier post here), in which the Regional Court of Hamburg fined file-sharing site RapidShare AG 24 million Euro for copyright infringement in respect of 5,000 tracks which had been shared through the site. In a further decision earlier this month six publishers (including John Wiley, Cengage and McGraw-Hill) were awarded an injunction against Swiss-based Rapidshare, ordering the company to prevent illegal file sharing of 148 copyright-protected works. The court added that Rapidshare must monitor its site (i) to ensure the copyright material was not being uploaded and (ii) to prevent unauthorised access to the material by its users. According to reports, the three-judge court warned that violations could cost the company up to €250,000 on top of the €7.2m in legal fees for the plaintiffs. The IPKat's friend Alexandra Hardy (Orion Publishing Group) wonders:
"Do you or any of your German-reading colleagues have any insight re the Rapidshare decision in Germany last week? UK publishers are naturally very excited by it ... but I doubt this marks the end of P2P as we know it!"

Erasing David, despite its name, has nothing to do with the predicted fate of UK Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property David Lammy MP following the next General Election: it's a film from British film-maker David Bond, which vividly illustrates how widely and easily information about us is available from a variety of sources. Bond attempts to disappear for a month, leaving no trace. Before he goes, he hires two private investigators to track him down by any means necessary. The film follows the battle of wits as the two investigators close in on their fugitive. Details of an exclusive screening of this film can be found on the Datonomy data protection website here. Popcorn, hot-dogs and ice-cream will be available too.

Congratulations are offered to the Class 99 design law blog, set up last summer by the IPKat's friend David Musker. Class 99 has now just reached the 200 mark for its email subscriber list. With a nine-person international team commenting on design law issues from Europe and sometimes even beyond, the weblog has secured something of a following, which is nice ...

There are another five tips for actual or prospective writers on IP subjects, sitting quietly on the jiplp weblog and waiting for someone to take them seriously.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 26, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. The jury is out on whether the Rapidshare approach could get rolled out across Europe. In Germany an online intermediary that has previously been made aware of copyright-infringing material on its site can be obliged to monitor for similar future infringements. The E-Commerce Directive’s prohibition against general monitoring obligations is not considered to apply to injunctions. As we have recently seen in the Sabam v Scarlet case in Belgium, not all European courts are so confident of this interpretation – clarification by the ECJ can be expected in a couple of years...

  2. Rapidshare was not fined 24 Mio Euros, only the value of dispute was 24 Mio Euros. The value of dispute is the basis for the calculation of court and lawyers fees according to the German Court Fee Act (Gerichtskostengesetz) and the Lawyers Fee Act (Rechtsanwaltsverg tungsgesetz).

    Also, the reported legal fees of 7,2 mio. will not be correct. I would suppose the costs that have to be reimbursed are around 200.000 lawyers' fees (plus expenses for travelling etc.) plus court fees to the amount of 220.000. Costs have to be reimbursed only according to the Fee Acts I mentioned, even if the winning party paid more to their lawyers.

  3. Don't know anything yet about the latest decision, but:

    1. "... in which the Regional Court of Hamburg fined file-sharing site RapidShare AG 24 million Euro for copyright infringement in respect of 5,000 tracks which had been shared through the site."

    This seems to have been a bit of a myth:

    2. As far as I'm aware Rapidshare is a hosting site, nothing to do with P2P.


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