QuickLinks - Copyright, trademarks and patents
QuickLinks - Copyright, trademarks and patents
Issue no. 366 - 3 September 2006
- US - RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say
The music industry's educational video about copyright law is full of baloney, according to several trade and public interest groups. The Consumer Electronics Association and Public Knowledge are among the groups to issue a joint statement condemning some statements on the Recording Industry Association of America's video, which the RIAA has plans to distribute to the nation's universities.
- US -Wiki site aims to boost patent review process
In a draft five-year strategic plan, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced their intention to develop a 'peer review mechanism' that would enlist volunteers from the public to weigh in on applications and ease the burden on its own staff. A patent attorney and an accountant based in Salt Lake City has launched WikiPatents.com. Sporting a star-based rating system reminiscent of those used for movie criticism, it's designed in part to help patent examiners, attorneys, litigants, would-be investors, inventors and other interested outsiders decide whether already-issued patents deserve such a designation.
Issue no. 365 - 15 August 2006
- FR - DADVSI : la loi "droit d'auteur numérique" promulguée au JO
La loi sur le droit d'auteur et droits voisins dans la société de l'information (DADVSI) a été officiellement promulguée jeudi 3 août 2006. Sa publication au Journal Officiel met fin au long et tumultueux processus législatif qui a accompagné son émergence. voir décision du Conseil constutionnel. Voir aussi Futura-Sciences.com.
- UK - Patent battle over teaching tools
Internet law professor Michael Geist says a patent row between educators and the maker of educational software tools holds lessons for all net users. This is because Blackboard, an American maker of these systems, took the academic community by surprise late last month when it announced it had been granted a broad patent in the US covering 44 claims related to learning management systems.
- WIPO - Broadcasting Treaty
von Monika Ermert. Bei der World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) liegt ein neuer Entwurf für den umstrittenen Vertrag über die Rechte der Rundfunksender (Broadcasting Treaty) vor. Der WIPO Broadcasting Treaty soll Rundfunkunternehmen Rechte an ihren Sendungen geben, die in dieser Form noch nicht vom Urheberrecht abgedeckt sind. Kritiker, zu denen sich kürzlich auch die UNESCO mit einer Studie gesellte, warnen vor einer mangelnden Ausbalancierung der Rechte der Sender einerseits und des Anspruchs der Öffentlichkeit auf den Zugang zu Information andererseits. siehe auch Was für Broadcasting recht ist, soll für Netcasting billig sein.
Issue no. 364 - 7 July 2006
- CN - Music industry to sue Yahoo China
The music industry is to sue Yahoo China for allegedly providing links to pirated tracks. Yahoo China is the second largest search engine in the country, and is 40% owned by Yahoo. Last year the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, whose members include EMI, Sony BMG and Warner Music, sued Baidu, the most popular search engine in China and the dispute is ongoing.
- DE - Legal victory for Google in library project
Google has won a crucial victory in a German court as it tries to persuade publishers that its drive to digitise library books to get at the information inside is not an attempt to smash copyright laws. Scientific publisher Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (WBG), backed by the German publishers association, had asked a Hamburg court for an injunction stopping the American web giant from scanning its books as part of its library project. The copyright chamber of the regional court of Hamburg indicated that its petition for an injunction was unlikely to succeed. The court rejected WBG's argument that the scanning of its books in the US infringes German copyright law.
- ES - Spain adds levy to blank discs
The Spanish government will add a levy to blank media such as CDs and DVDs to hand over to copyright holders to compensate for the duplication of copyrighted materials. The move follows the lead of most European countries, which charge a levy on goods likely to be used to copy music or films or other copyrighted works. Though the UK bans all copying, most European countries permit copying for personal use and use the levy as a way to reimburse copyright holders.
- FR - Le projet Dadvsi définitivement adopté par le Parlement
Malgré les appels pressants des opposants au texte, le Sénat et l'Assemblée nationale ont aujourd'hui adopté définitivement le projet de loi Dadvsi. ZDNet.fr décrypte les principales mesures qui ont été validées en commission mixte paritaire (CMP). Le texte légitime les DRM et redéfinit le concept d´interopérabilité. Il précise également les sanctions encourues par les éditeurs de logiciels "peer-to-peer".
- FR - Virgin France fined over piracy
French music retailer Virgin France has been fined 600,000 euros for music piracy. The firm, owned by Lagardere, was fined for illegally downloading Madonna's Hung Up to resell on its own website. An industrial court found Virgin France unit Virginmega had ignored an exclusive deal reached by Warner Music France with France Telecom and Orange.
- UK lawsuit proceeds against Russian MP3 site
The British music industry's trade group has been cleared to sue the controversial Russian music download site AllofMP3.com in London's High Court. AllofMP3.com, which offers album downloads for as little as £1, is Britain's second-most popular online music service. The Russian site claims to be in compliance with local copyright laws, but music labels say they have not given permission for AllofMP3 to sell their songs.
Issue no. 363 - 25 June 2006
- CA - Captain Copyright and the Case of the Critical Link
The hyperlink is one of the Internet's most basic yet important features. While most sites welcome links, a few do not. What if a website does not want others to link to it? Further, what if a website only wants supportive links, while maintaining the right to block critical links? Permission is not needed to link on the Internet.
- FR - Compromis sur les droits d'auteur
Certains textes de loi voient le jour dans la douleur. Celui relatif au droit d'auteur et aux droits voisins dans la société de l'information (DAVDSI), qui transpose en droit français une directive européenne de 2001, en est un bel exemple. La commission mixte paritaire (CMP), qui réunissait, jeudi 22 juin au matin, sept sénateurs et sept députés de la majorité et de l'opposition, est parvenue à un compromis dans une ambiance survoltée. Ce texte doit encore faire l'objet d'une adoption définitive le 30 juin par le Parlement.
- NL - Dutch MP3 search site shut down
The record industry has welcomed a Dutch court ruling against a website that provided links to MP3 music files. The Zoekmp3.nl site, run by Techno Design, was shut down after the decision by the Dutch Court of Appeal. It ruled that the site was breaking the law by providing links to illegal MP3 files on the internet, even though it did not host the content itself.
- NO - Norway sparks iTunes rebellion
In one of the most significant threats to the iPod phenomenon to have arisen since the iconic digital music player was launched, the Norwegian Consumer Council concluded that Apple's iTunes service breaches Norwegian law because it prevents users from playing music they have downloaded on any player apart from Apple's own iPod. In association with its sister organisations in Sweden and Denmark, the NCC has taken action that could eventually force courts to make downloaded songs on iTunes usable on all digital music players.
- Online music row shuts web site
Internet firm Tiscali has suspended its music sharing Juke Box and accused the European recording industry of being 'virtually impossible to work with'. It took the move after it was told to remove the service's search by artist. Tiscali said services in the US offered that facility, and European music fans were being discriminated against.
- SE - Swedish IT companies demand damages after file-sharing crackdown
Ten Swedish IT companies whose servers were confiscated in a police crackdown on a prominent file-sharing Web site are now asking the government for damages for loss of business. Police raided the Web hosting company PRQ on May 31, in a crackdown on illegal file swapping that temporarily shut down The Pirate Bay Web site, but they also confiscated about 200 servers belonging to companies not affiliated with the file-sharing site, the nonprofit organization Center for Justice said.
- UK - Google argues with publishers over digital libraries
Google has again clashed with publishers over its controversial program to scan, digitize and make searchable the collections of libraries in the U.S. and the U.K. Publishers hit out at Google over the plan, and the effect it will have on copyright, at the launch of a report on digital rights management from the All Party Internet Group, an independent British parliamentary organization.
- UK - MPs in digital downloads warning
Consumers should be told exactly what they can and cannot do with songs and films they buy online, says an influential group of MPs in the UK. The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group report on digital rights management looked at how copy protection systems restrict the way digital movies and music can be enjoyed.
- US - Trademark infringement suit hits search again
A Colorado-based dating Web site has sued Yahoo and three other companies for allegedly paying to have their ads come up when its name "lovecity" is typed into the Google search page.
- WIPO - Broadcasting Treaty: Constitutional circumvention
by James Boyle. A very bad proposal is being debated in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The proposal was to extend the length of an existing set of intellectual property rights for broadcasters, and even apply them to webcasting.With remarkably little public attention, the Broadcasting Treaty train is chugging ahead strongly, with states providing new draft proposals over the next two months for a possible decision in September.
Issue no. 362 - 11 June 2006
- DE - Police act on German file-sharing
Police in Germany have charged 3,500 users of a file-sharing network in the biggest single action against the illegal distribution of music online. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) - the record industry's global body - said each could face five years in prison. They may also have to pay compensation for offering up to 8,000 files at a time for download on the eDonkey site.
- EU warns China on piracy problem
European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has made a fresh call for China to do more to improve market access and cut down on piracy. He warned China would face a backlash in Europe unless it did more to 'apply rather than circumvent the rules'. Mr Mandelson's comments came during a visit to Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart Bo Xilai.
- FR - French book publisher sues Google
A French publishing group is to sue Google for publishing book excerpts online without permission. La Martiniere accuses the technology company of 'counterfeiting and breach of intellectual property rights' by digitising about 100 of its titles.
- Piracy fears over net generation
Net freedom fighter Lawrence Lessig has called for an end to what he described as 'extremism' in copyright laws. The Stanford law professor fears they could stifle the creativity of a new generation in the digital age. Prof Lessig told the Hay Festival in Wales that the 'age of prohibition' could turn 'kids into pirates'.
- RU - On a Russian Site, Cheap Songs With a Backbeat of Illegality
(New York Times)
AllofMP3.com, a music downloading service based in Moscow, offers a vast catalog of music that includes artists not normally authorized for sale online, at a fraction of the cost of services like iTunes. AllofMP3 asserts its legality by citing a license issued by a royalty collecting society, the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society, known as R.O.M.S. for its Russian initials. According to Russia's 1993 copyright law, collecting societies are permitted to act on behalf of rights holders who have not authorized them to do so.
- SE - Swedish piracy row gathers pace
The row between supporters of a Swedish website accused of piracy and the nation's authorities is escalating. A raid on The Pirate Bay site by Swedish police is thought to have been the catalyst for hack attacks on official websites. The attacks are being investigated by the Swedish security service, its domestic intelligence agency. Protestors took to the streets of Stockholm to show their support for the BitTorrent search site.
- SE - Website back after Swedish raids
A website accused of directing users to pirated films, music and software has reopened using servers in the Netherlands days after Swedish authorities shut it down. ThePirateBay.org has described itself as the largest search index for BitTorrent, a system used for sharing large files over the internet. But critics in the entertainment industry argue it is a major source of music and film piracy. The Pirate Bay says it does nothing wrong. Its operators maintain that the site's function is to direct users towards the files that they search for and manage the uploads and downloads. The website itself does not hold any copyright files.
Issue no. 361 - 23 May 2006
- Microsoft: Open source 'not reliable or dependable'
A senior Microsoft executive told a BBC documentary that people should use commercial software if they're looking for stability. 'I don't think (open source) is anti-Microsoft in the sense that it's giving people choices in the technologies that they use,' Jonathan Murray, the vice president and chief technology officer of Microsoft Europe, told BBC World in the first part of the documentary 'The Code Breakers,' which aired this week.
- UK - Beatles to appeal after losing trademark battle with Apple Computer
The Beatles were beaten by the power of the iPod in the high court when a judge ruled that Apple Computer had not violated an agreement restricting the use of its apple logo in the music business. But the 25-year dispute over how the US computer giant can deploy its trademark apple with a bite taken out will continue as lawyers for Apple Corps, the record label still owned by Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, vowed to appeal against the "curious" verdict. Apple Computer's lawyers told the court that "even a moron in a hurry" could tell the difference between iTunes and the Beatles' Apple Corps. Apple Corps Limited v. Apple Computer, Inc per Mann J  EWHC 996 (Ch) (BAILII) and 1991 Trademark Agreement (FindLaw).
- US - Technology groups win patent lawsuit
A ruling by the US Supreme Court, which involved the online auction giant Ebay, could profoundly change the balance of power between companies that use patents primarily for litigation and high tech companies that make products based on thousands of different bits of patented technology. Courts almost always issue an injunction to force companies to change the design of their products once they are found to have infringed a patent. The justices ruled unanimously that there should be another option: courts should have discretion on whether to allow companies to continue making their product and compensate for the infringement with monetary damages rather than forcing them always to stop using the infringed technology.
Issue no. 360 - 14 May 2006
- EU - Galileo peut garder son nom
Arrêt du Tribunal de première instance dans l'affaire T-279/03. Galileo International Technology LLC et e.a. / Commission des Communautés européennes. Le Tribunal rejette le recours introduit par le groupe d'entreprises Galileo contre l'emploi par la Commission du terme Galileo pour désigner le système européen de navigation par satellite. Les requérantes n´ont pas établi que l´utilisation par la Commission dudit terme était susceptible de porter atteinte à leurs droits de marque.
- WIPO - Webcasting put on a separate track from Broadcasting Treaty
At the beginning of May 2006 the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR/14) met in Geneva with the aim to decide on recommendations on a draft WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organisations. On the last day the SCCR finally decided to split the negotiations into two parts: a treaty that will focus on "traditional" broadcasting and one on the technologies that would deliver content over the Internet.
Issue no. 359 - 9 May 2006
- EU - Commission proposes criminal law provisions to combat intellectual property offences
The Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive to combat intellectual property offences that amends the proposal approved by it on 12 July 2005. It is thus responding to the Court ruling of 13 September 2005 in Case C-176/03, according to which the criminal law provisions necessary for the effective implementation of Community law are a matter for Community law. Accordingly, the proposal for a Council framework decision to strengthen the criminal law framework to combat intellectual property offences has been withdrawn and its provisions incorporated into the amended proposal for a directive.
- WIPO - US retreat opens way for treaty on broadcasting
The US has opened the way for a treaty updating broadcaster' rights for the digital age by dropping its insistence that webcasting be covered by the agreement. The treaty, under negotiation by members of the World Intellectual Property Organisation since 1997, will now cover satellite, terrestrial and cable broadcasts.
- WIPO Carves Up the Internet (and the Broadcast Spectrum)
by James Love. WIPO is debating whether or not to create a new intellectual property right in information that is distributed over television, radio, cable television, or through any wired or wireless computer network, including the Internet. This is something different from copyright. Indeed, it is designed to benefit people who cannot get a copyright, because a work belongs to someone else (the person or group that created it), or because the information is in the public domain. The new right is not a "copyright," but a "broadcaster" or "webcaster" right. It is a bad idea when applied to television or radio, but a disaster if applied to the Internet.
Issue no. 358 - 21 April 2006
- EU - Update on French EUCD Transposition
The DADVSI draft law (French EUCD Transposition) made its first step on 21 March, with 286 votes in favour and 193 votes against in an unusually crowded National Assembly. The result is largely a victory for the cultural industry majors. However, the draft law brings important progress on the interoperability side: not only DRM vendors are required to open their technology to competitors, but also commercial platforms are required to make their files compatible with any player.
Issue no. 357 - 26 March 2006
- FR - Apple attacks plan to open iTunes
Apple has criticised a French law that could break the locks tying songs from the iTunes store to iPod players. In a statement Apple said that if the law were passed it would result in 'state-sponsored piracy'. On Tuesday French lawmakers voted 296 to 193 in support of a law that would stop Apple, plus any other firm selling music downloads, using proprietary software to limit what people can do with tracks they have bought. The draft law now goes to the Senate - the upper house of the French parliament - for final approval before it gets on to the statute books.
- FR - French transposition of the EU copyright directive
With its succession of coups de theatre, the pathetic show of the French EUCD transposition (DADVSI draft law) is going on. Given the current chaos and the unpredictability of any decision, this report only considers the discussion undertaken until 9 March 2006, included. Future edri-gram issues will report and analyse subsequent developments.
- FR - Victoire de l'industrie musicale sur la question de la copie privée
(Droit et Nouvelles Technologies)
par Etienne Wery et Paul Van den Bulck. La cour de cassation a rendu un arrêt cassant la décision rendue le 22 avril 2005 par la cour d'appel de Paris, dans le débat extrêmement sensible opposant d'une part les mesures de protection technique, et d'autre part l'exception de copie privée (affaire Mulholland Drive). rtement la question de la copie privée', http://www.droit-technologie.org , 1 Mars 2006"
- UK - Copyright rules for podcasters
The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society have launched a licensing scheme for music podcasters. The MCPS and PRS plan to assess the operation of the licence and update the scheme early next year.
- Visualizing Copyright
Duke Law School's Center for the Public Domain has released the new copyright comic book! Download the comic book. Listen to the radio story. Hurray for efforts to make the law more accessible and intelligible!
Issue no. 356 - 27 February 2006
- FR - Inquiry set for French file-sharing plan
France's Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres is set to be questioned by the parliamentary commission for cultural affairs and the commission for economic affairs about plans for a controversial law that would legalize file-sharing of music and films. The project has worried the music, film and television industries because it would make France the first country to allow unlimited peer-to-peer downloading for a flat fee of several euros a month.
- Newspapers want search engines to pay
The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) intends to 'challenge the exploitation of content' by the Googles and MSNs of the Web. WAN executives want to explore their options and added that they understand search engines help them in one way: aggregating content and packaging it for consumers. But WAN noted that Web companies also 'built their business models in large part on taking content for free.'
- The Internet, Creativity and Copyright Incentives by Paul Ganley
by Paul Ganley. Baker & McKenzie LLP. Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, Vol. 10, p. 188, 2005. The copyright industries savour their role as critical intermediaries in the copyright supply chain. To this end they are continually seeking to strengthen their legal entitlements by arguing that stronger copyright incentives fuel future creative action. But the reality of creativity is different from the linear economic reward/action relationship that these industries promote.
- UK - Gowers Review of Intellectual Property - call for evidence
The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property has issued a call for evidence as part of its commitment to consult widely. Responses to the call for evidence have been requested by Friday 21 April 2006.
- UK - Police unit targets film piracy
A police unit dedicated to combating movie piracy and those responsible for the manufacture and distribution of pirated films has launched in London. In partnership with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact), the new unit will pursue individuals and groups profiting from the sale of fake DVDs.
- US - MPAA sues newsgroup, P2P search sites
The Motion Picture Association of America has sued a new round of popular Web sites associated with movie piracy, including several that serve as search engines but do not distribute files themselves. Unlike a traditional search engine such as Google, the sites targeted are filled almost exclusively with links and references to copyright movies, software and music. The MPAA has had a string of successes targeting sites that distribute movies in the BitTorrent file format and collaborated with Swiss and Belgian police to shut down a major European server called Razorback 2, part of the eDonkey network.
- Whose words are they anyway?
by John Halton. In a blaze of international publicity, the World Association of Newspapers announced that it is considering legal action against Google News, which it accuses of 'building a new medium on the backs of our industry, without paying for any of the content'. This follows earlier objections to the Google Print service - Google's plans to scan millions of books have attracted opposition from publishers and authors. But what is its legal position faced with these objections?
Issue no. 355 - 5 February 2006
- UK - A CD should work on any device, says French court
Two French companies, Warner Music France and the FNAC, were condemned on 10 January by the Paris District Court to pay fines and damages of 5.000 and 59,50 euros respectively, to the consumer protection association UFC - Que Choisir and to a consumer complaining for not having been able to read a Phil Collins CD on a Macintosh computer. The CD had a copy proof system that prevented the duplication but which also made it impossible to read the CD on certain devices.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
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