United Kingdom – Proposal for further copyright exceptions

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La redazione

The U.K. Government has published its plans for further copyright exceptions in line with recommendations in the Hargreaves Review. It intends to bring the following exceptions into force in October 2013:
Private copying: People will be allowed to copy material they own for their personal use, but not to share copies with other people (eg friends or family). This will apply to all types of private storage and all types of copyright work.

 

  • Quotation, reporting current events, and speeches: Fair uses of quotations will be allowed for purposes other than those currently allowed (criticism, review and reporting current events), with acknowledgement of sources. Existing news reporting and speeches exceptions will not be amended. Photographs will remain outside the scope of the news reporting exception as unlicensed use of a photograph to report current events would rarely be fair.

  • Parody, caricature and pastiche: Parody will be allowed on a fair dealing basis, subject to the existing moral rights regime which protects authors of works from derogatory treatment. Parodists currently risk infringement claims if they reproduce a “substantial part” of a work – which is often difficult to avoid in a parody.

  • Research and private study: Sound recordings, films and broadcasts will be brought within the scope of this existing exception which already allows non-commercial research and private study of some types of work. Educational institutions, libraries, archives and museums will be allowed to give access to works on their premises by electronic means at dedicated terminals.

  • Data analytics: Automated analytical techniques currently require a copyright licence as they typically work by bulk copying entire works (eg journal articles). It will no longer be an infringement of copyright for a person who has a right to access a work to copy the work as part of a technological process of analysis and synthesis of the content of the work for the sole purpose of non-commercial research.

  • Education: The current regime of exceptions for educational purposes will be simplified and modernised. The new exceptions will apply to all organisations and individuals, not only those which the Copyright Act defines as educational establishments.

  • People with disabilities: The current exceptions will be broadened and simplified, to include people with all types of disability and all types of copyright work.

  • Archiving and preservation: The current exception, which applies only to libraries and archives, will be extended to museums and galleries. The exception will now apply not only to literary, dramatic and musical works, but to any type of copyright work including films, broadcasts, sound recordings and artistic works (including photographs).

  • Public administration: The current exception will be extended to allow public bodies to make third party material available online. This will only apply to unpublished works and works that are already available for public inspection.

    The Government has decided, at least for the time being, not to amend or introduce any exceptions in the following areas:

  • Recording and reproducing broadcasts in social institutions such as hospitals
  • Use of copyright materials during religious or official celebrations
  • Use relating to the sale or exhibition of artistic works
  • Use relating to the demonstration or repair of equipment

    To the extent legally possible the Government proposes to provide that licensors of copyright works cannot contractually undermine permitted acts.

    The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is to introduce a non-statutory system for providing basic guidance in the form of “Copyright Notices” tailored for non-experts. The IPO will provide more detail on how this scheme will work.

    The Government’s aim is “to make the UK a better place for consumers and for firms to innovate, in markets which are vital for future growth.” Some of these changes are relatively uncontroversial, even with most rights owners, and are in areas which are rarely litigated. But expect future cases, probably in the Patents County Court (or Intellectual Property County Court as it will soon be rebranded), concerning the scope of more contentious exceptions such as quotation and parody.


Charles Swan
Swan Turton Solicitors

(U.K.)

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CEDU: violazione di copyright e libertà di espressione

autore:

Roberta Avarello

La Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo, con sentenza emessa lo scorso 10 gennaio 2013, a definizione di una controversia avente ad oggetto la violazione di copyright, ha fissato il principio secondo il quale una condanna basata sulla violazione del copyright può essere considerata come un’interferenza al diritto alla libertà di espressione e informazione e, pertanto, deve essere supportata da una motivazione pertinente riguardo al suo essere necessaria in una società democratica oltre ad essere prevista dalla legge e a perseguire uno scopo legittimo.

Corte di giustizia.pdf

Commento
Con la sentenza in commento, la Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo ha deciso su di un ricorso presentato da tre fotografi, residenti in Francia, i quali, per aver pubblicato in rete foto “rubate” di una sfilata di moda, venivano condannati, per contraffazione e violazione di copyright, al pagamento di una consistente somma economica, in favore di cinque case produttrici di moda e della Fédération francaise de la couture.
 
Successivamente alla sentenza di condanna definitiva emessa dalla Corte di Cassazione francese, che confermava la decisione della Corte di Appello di Parigi, i tre fotografi ricorrevano la Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo, invocando, come già fatto in sede di appello, oltre l’art. 122 del Codice della proprietà intellettuale della Francia, che garantisce la libera pubblicazione di opere protette da copyright per scopi informativi, l’art. 10 della Convenzione Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo, il quale, disponendo in ordine alla libertà di espressione degli individui, recita che: “1. Ogni persona ha diritto alla libertà d’espressione. Tale diritto include la libertà d’opinione e la libertà di ricevere o di comunicare informazioni o idee senza che vi possa essere ingerenza da parte delle autorità pubbliche e senza limiti di frontiera. Il presente articolo non impedisce agli Stati di sottoporre a un regime di autorizzazione le imprese di radiodiffusione, cinematografiche o televisive. 2. L’esercizio di queste libertà, poiché comporta doveri e responsabilità, può essere sottoposto alle formalità, condizioni, restrizioni o sanzioni che sono previste dalla legge e che costituiscono misure necessarie, in una società democratica, alla sicurezza nazionale, all’integrità territoriale o alla pubblica sicurezza, alla difesa dell’ordine e alla prevenzione dei reati, alla protezione della salute o della morale, alla protezione della reputazione o dei diritti altrui, per impedire la divulgazione di informazioni riservate o per garantire l’autorità e l’imparzialità del potere giudiziario”.

Ebbene, pur non riconoscendo una diretta violazione dell’articolo in questione, la Corte Europea, con la pronuncia che si commenta, ha sottolineato come la condanna emessa dal Tribunale Francese interferisce con il diritto alla libertà di espressione garantita dalla Convenzione Europea.

Allo stesso tempo, tuttavia, la Corte, sulla base del citato comma 2 dell’art. 10, che dispone, come visto, che il diritto alla libertà di espressione può essere sottoposto a restrizioni o sanzioni qualora esse costituiscano misure necessarie per una società democratica, ha ritenuto l’interferenza dei Giudici francesi necessaria al fine di proteggere i diritti dei terzi.

Insomma, pur non salvando i tre fotografi ricorrenti dalle multe loro comminate, la Corte ha ritenuto opportuno precisare il principio secondo il quale il diritto alla libertà di espressione può naturalmente essere sottoposto a restrizioni o sanzioni previste dalla legge, ma occorre determinare se ciò sia necessario e non comporti un’interferenza al diritto alla libertà di espressione e informazione.

In virtù del verdetto in parola, dunque, come detto, una condanna per violazione di copyright, che limiti, pertanto, la libertà di espressione di un individuo o di un’organizzazione dovrà essere supportata da una motivazione pertinente riguardo al suo essere necessaria in una società democratica oltre ad essere prevista dalla legge e a perseguire uno scopo legittimo.

In altri termini, ogni qualvolta dall’adozione di un provvedimento di enforcement dei diritti di proprietà intellettuale possa derivare una compressione della libertà di manifestazione del pensiero, la sola circostanza che l’adozione del provvedimento sia fondata su una disposizione di legge nazionale non basterà a renderlo legittimo, e ciò, alla stregua della Convenzione Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo.

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U.K. Photographer’s damages: Sheldon v Daybrook House

autore:

La redazione

In a case which demonstrates the potential pitfalls of using photographs posted on social networking websites (Tumblr in this case), the Patents County Court (PCC) has given a preliminary ruling on what constitutes a reasonable royalty for copyright infringement involving the unauthorised use of a celebrity photograph.

The claimant (Jason Sheldon, a professional photographer) obtained exclusive back stage access to the Birmingham leg of American pop star Ke$ha’s UK tour in 2011. Mr Sheldon took a number of photographs of Ke$ha and supporting act LMFAO, including one of the three celebrities lounging on a sofa with Ke$ha brandishing a bottle of champagne.     

In March 2012 Mr Sheldon found that the defendant (Daybrook House Promotions Ltd, a promoter for the Nottingham dance venue Rock City) was using the photograph without a licence as part of an advertising campaign for its “Floor Fillers” events. Mr Sheldon, whose business involves the licensing of the use of his photographs, asked the defendant to stop and sent it an invoice for the use.

In his decision Judge Birss QC stressed that the root of the difficulty in this case arose from the “very different view the parties took as to what a fair licence fee would have been for the acts complained of.” The question for the court was what damages would be awarded to Mr Sheldon assuming, which was not admitted, that the acts committed by the defendant were acts of copyright infringement.

The correct measure of damages in such cases is a reasonable royalty, ie the licence fee which would have been agreed between a willing licensor and a willing licensee. Daybrook asserted that this reasonable royalty figure would have been “a few hundred pounds”. Mr Sheldon produced a range of figures between £2,450 and £14,667.05. His figures were derived from fotoQuote software and also quotes from Getty Images, Retna and Rex Features.

The judge explained that “the issue is not what sum would Daybrook have been prepared to pay for any photograph they intended to use in this promotional campaign. The question is focussed on the actual photograph Daybrook used.” A reasonable royalty should be assessed against the particular copyright work in question. What would Mr Sheldon have earned for the reproduction of his photograph by someone wishing to reproduce it?

The measure of damages will be based on the reproduction which has taken place. The extent of the use made of the photograph will be considered alongside other factors including the renown of the artist and exclusivity of access. The judge doubted whether a photographer would go to the trouble of arranging access to a location only to license the resulting photographs in this way for a few hundred pounds.

The judge found that the correct measure of damages was £5,682.37 exc. VAT and interest, a figure generated by Mr Sheldon’s fotoQuote software with a 20% mark up to reflect the specific subject matter and characteristics of the image.

Charles Swan
James Wilson

Swan Turton LLP
London

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