The InfoSoc Directive regulates an optional private copying exception, which must be accompanied by the condition that fair compensation must be guaranteed to rightholders. The need for the private copying exception does not raise any doubts as far as concerns copyright. However, the question of remuneration or compensation for the harm to rightholders that results from it is currently giving rise to vigorous debate in several EU Member States. This chapter analyzes recent European case-law on this subject matter. Keywords: Private copying exception, fair compensation, InfoSoc Directive, Court of Justice of the European Union, Padawan, EGEDA.
There are no eternal copyright and related rights. These rights are in nature time limited. As it is known, copyright has its roots in the privileges and regulations associated with the advent of printing in the fifteenth century. After Gutenberg perfected the use of moulded metal type around 1450, the Governments and Sovereigns of Western Europe decided to control the printing presses by granting permission to print (privileges) to particular persons in order to protect local printing industries against piracy and foreign import. The privileges were territorial in nature and were for a limited term of years. Initial privileges of the fifteenth century in the main protected the printer rather than the author. The first law to recognise a general right to the authors themselves to control the printing of their works was the British Act of 1710, which created a single regime for application both in England and in Scotland. The English Act gave the ‘sole right and liberty of printing books’, not to the printers, but to the authors of the books, and this right was time-limited: 14 years for newly published works, renewable for a further 14 years if the author was still living at the expiration of the first period. After that some other national laws were passed, all of them based on the same idea: that copyright should not provide an eternal protection. From the international perspective, there is no universal term of protection for copyright, even among the countries that are Members of the Berne Union.
C-466/12 Nils Svensson and Others v Retriever Sverige AB (13 February 2014)
On February 13, 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down its long-awaited judgment in C-466/12 Svensson and Others v Retriever Sveriege. The Court of Justice found that hyperlinks to open websites were not a communication to a new public. It also concluded that the Information Society Directive (2001/21) provides a complete harmonization of the communication to the public right.
Gemma Minero Alejandre
This review analyses the recent Spanish Supreme Court decision Megakini v Google. The long-awaited ruling tries to balance the interests of copyright owners and Internet operators in the digital era. However, in doing so both the Supreme Court and the Barcelona Provincial Court follow the fair use doctrine, and complement it with some good faith considerations – the so-called ius usus inoqui principle. Thus, although the result tries to stress the importance of analysing the flexibility of fair use in light of new circumstances, the Spanish courts have created a new exception and have done so by applying foreign law (§107 of the US Copyright Act). The Spanish legislator is currently discussing the Copyright Act reform. It remains to be seen whether the Spanish legislator will take the Supreme Court's ruling into consideration.