More copyright questions -- and who is Labianca?

It's copyright question-and-answer time again. Case C-516/13 Dimensione Direct Sales et Labianca is a reference for a preliminary ruling which the German Bundesgerichtshof has requested from the Court of Justice of the European Union, on yet another copyright matter.  The questions posed by the referring court are as follows:
1. Does the distribution right under Article 4(1) of Directive 2001/29 [on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society -- the InfoSoc Directive] include the right to offer the original or copies of the work to the public for sale?

If the first question is to be answered in the affirmative:

2. Does the right to offer the original or copies of the work to the public for sale include not only contractual offers, but also advertising measures?

3. Is the distribution right infringed even if no purchase of the original or copies of the work takes place on the basis of the offer?
If you would like to comment on this case and thereby give the UK Intellectual Property Office a clue as to whether to advise the British government to make an appropriate representation, all you have to do is email by the regrettably short date of 11 November 2013.

Covered, as usual, in embarrassment, this Kat wasn't expecting this case -- although he recalls that one of the parties, Dimensione Direct Sales, has the same name as an Italian business that sold some pretty neat Italian Bauhaus furniture to customers of German hauliers like Titus Donner (see another Bundesgerichtshof reference, Case C-5/11 Donner, discussed here and here).  Can any readers supply some background, please?
More copyright questions -- and who is Labianca? More copyright questions -- and who is Labianca? Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, November 04, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. This appears to be the case "Marcel-Breuer-Möbel".

    Some background is discussed here:

  2. Extensive research has revealed that the Labianca in question appears to be the sole director of Dimensione:

    This would appear to be the relevant case (although the decision of the Bundesgerichtshof appears to have been delivered in April, leaving a considerable gap in time before the questions were referred to the CJEU):

    Unfortunately my German is not sufficiently fluent to do an instant translation - perhaps one of your regular contributors would be better placed to provide you with a summary of the background? The plaintiff in the proceedings is an Italian company, ultimately belonging to Knoll, Inc. in the US; the defendant is an Italian company selling designer furniture Europe-wide via its website (which you knew anyway, from the earlier Court of Justice case).

  3. Here's a summary of the facts:
    The claimant is an italian company producing premium furniture. Defendant 1 is an italian company selling furniture, Defendant 2 is its director. The case concerns furniture, which is protected under german law as a work of applied art.

    Defendant 1 advertises the furniture in germany on their website as well as through newspapers with a remark, that ownership of the furniture is transferred in Italy.

    The senate's opinion is that the quesitons are to be answered with yes, since the directive tries to provide a high level of protection.

    Rgds from Vienna

  4. Michael, James and Bernhard, thanks so much for your comments!


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