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Communication to a New Public? Three Reasons Why EU Copyright Law Can Do Without a “New Public”

Abstract

This article critically examines the “new public” test in EU copyright law, which was developed by the CJEU when interpreting the right of communication to the public in cases of retransmission and hyperlinking. As the authors seek to demonstrate, this test is flawed for at least three reasons: historical, conceptual and economic. EU copyright law can well do without a “new public” test.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    CJEU, 7 December 2007, No. C-306/05 (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE) v. Rafael Hoteles SA) (hereinafter referred to as “SGAE”), para. 197.

  2. 2.

    WIPO Copyright Treaty, Geneva, 20 December 1996.

  3. 3.

    Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Paris, 24 July 1971.

  4. 4.

    Goldstein and Hugenholtz (2013), p. 48.

  5. 5.

    Ricketson (1987), p. 439.

  6. 6.

    Masouyé Guide (1978), para. 11bis3, p. 66.

  7. 7.

    Ricketson (1987), p. 449.

  8. 8.

    Ricketson (1987), pp. 432–433.

  9. 9.

    Ricketson (1987), p. 433; von Lewinski (2008), p. 151.

  10. 10.

    Ricketson and Ginsburg (2006), p. 717.

  11. 11.

    The idea of introducing a general right of communication to the public, including a right to make available online, was first advanced in an EC-commissioned study by P. Bernt Hugenholtz, “Intellectual Property Rights on the Information Superhighway”, Report to the Commission of the European Communities (DG XV), August 1994, available at: http://www.ivir.nl/publicaties/download/1760.

  12. 12.

    Article 8 of the WCT reads: “Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 11(1)(ii), 11bis(1)(i) and (ii), 11ter(1)(ii), 14(1)(ii) and 14bis(1) of the Berne Convention, authors of literary and artistic works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorising any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them”.

  13. 13.

    Ricketson and Ginsburg (2006), p. 745.

  14. 14.

    Stamatoudi and Torremans (2014), p. 397; Dreier and Hugenholtz (2006), p. 355.

  15. 15.

    Article 3(2) InfoSoc Directive. See Arts. 10 and 14 of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, Geneva, 20 December 1996.

  16. 16.

    Recital 23 of the InfoSoc Directive; Stamatoudi and Torremans (2014), p. 409; Dreier and Hugenholtz (2006), p. 360; Walter and Von Lewinski (2010), p. 958.

  17. 17.

    Explanatory Memorandum InfoSoc Directive, p. 25, para. 1.

  18. 18.

    Recitals 9 and 10 of the InfoSoc Directive; Walter and Von Lewinski (2010), p. 988.

  19. 19.

    Recitals 2, 7 and 31 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  20. 20.

    SGAE, para. 31.

  21. 21.

    Opinion AG La Pergola, 9 September 1999, No. C-293/98 (Egeda), see CJEU, 3 February 2000, No. C-293/98 (Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales (Egeda) v. Hostelería Asturiana SA (Hoasa)) (hereinafter referred to as “Egeda”).

  22. 22.

    Masouyé Guide (1978), paras. 11bis.11, 11bis.12.

  23. 23.

    Opinion AG La Pergola (Egeda), para. 20.

  24. 24.

    Opinion AG La Pergola (Egeda), para. 20.

  25. 25.

    Opinion AG La Pergola (Egeda), para. 24.

  26. 26.

    Egeda, para. 29.

  27. 27.

    Egeda, para. 28.

  28. 28.

    SGAE and Opinion AG Sharpston, 13 July 2006, No. C-306/05 (SGAE).

  29. 29.

    Opinion AG Sharpston, (SGAE), para. 50.

  30. 30.

    Opinion AG Sharpston, (SGAE), para. 50.

  31. 31.

    SGAE, paras. 40, 42.

  32. 32.

    CJEU, 18 March 2010, No. C-139/09 (Organismos Sillogikis Diacheirisis Dimiourgon Theatrikon kai Optikoakoustikon Ergon v. Divani Akropolis Anonimi Xenodocheiaki kai Touristiki Etaireai) (hereinafter referred to as “OSDD”), para. 38; CJEU, 4 October 2011, Nos. C-403/08 and 429/08 (Football Association Premier League Ltd, NetMed Hellas SA and Multichoice Hellas SA v. QC Leisure, David Richardson, AV Station plc, Malcolm Chamberlain, Michael Madden, SR Leisure Ltd, Philip George Charles Houghton, Derek Owen/Karen Murphy v. Media Protection Services Ltd) (hereinafter referred to as “Premier League”), para. 197; CJEU, 13 October 2011, No. C-432/09 (Airfield NV, Canal Digitaal BV v. Belgische Vereniging van Auteurs, Componisten en Uitgevers CVBA (Sabam) and Airfield NV v. Agicoa Belgium BVBA) (hereinafter referred to as “Airfield”), para. 76; CJEU, 27 February 2014, No. C-351/12 (OSA – Ochranný svaz autorský pro práva k dílům hudebním o.s. v. Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně a.s) (hereinafter referred to as “OSA”), para. 32.

  33. 33.

    Premier League, para. 19; Woods (2012).

  34. 34.

    OSA, para. 40; CJEU, 31 May 2016, No. C-117/15 (Reha Training), paras. 60–61.

  35. 35.

    Airfield, para. 76.

  36. 36.

    CJEU, 7 March 2013, No. C-607/11 (ITV Broadcasting Ltd, ITV 2 Ltd, ITV Digital Channels Ltd, Channel 4 Television Corporation, 4 Ventures Ltd, Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd and ITV Studios Ltd v. TVCatchup Ltd) (hereinafter referred to as “TVCatchup”).

  37. 37.

    Baggs and Hansson (2013), pp. 363–364.

  38. 38.

    TVCatchup, para. 39.

  39. 39.

    Depreeuw (2014), p. 464.

  40. 40.

    Cock and Van Asbroeck (2015), at p. 276.

  41. 41.

    See SGAE, Premier League, OSDD, Airfield and OSA.

  42. 42.

    Bently et al. (2013); Tsoutsanis (2014), pp. 495–509; ALAI (2013).

  43. 43.

    Strowel and Hanley (2009), p. 71; Arezzo (2014), p. 530.

  44. 44.

    Rosati (2014), p. 619.

  45. 45.

    CJEU, 13 February 2014, No. C-466/12 (Nils Svensson, Sten Sjögren, Madelaine Sahlman and Pia Gadd v. Retriever Sverige AB) (hereinafter referred to as “Svensson”), paras. 18–19.

  46. 46.

    Svensson, para. 22.

  47. 47.

    Svensson, paras. 21, 24.

  48. 48.

    Svensson, paras. 26–27.

  49. 49.

    Svensson, para. 27–28.

  50. 50.

    Svensson, paras. 26–27; Arezzo (2014), p. 19; Stevens (2014), pp. 548–549; Predonzani (2014), pp. 38–39.

  51. 51.

    Svensson, para. 31.

  52. 52.

    Svensson, para. 29.

  53. 53.

    CJEU, 21 October 2014, No. C-348/13 (BestWater International GmbH v. Michael Mebes and Stefan Potsch); CJEU, 26 March 2015, No. C-279/13 (C More Entertainment AB v. Linus Sandberg).

  54. 54.

    Dutch Supreme Court, 9 January 2015, No. 14/01158, NJB 2015/748 (GS Media BV v. Sanoma Media Netherlands BV).

  55. 55.

    ALAI (2014, 2015); Ficsor (2014); Rosen (2015).

  56. 56.

    Documents 1948, p. 266. Ricketson (1987), p. 448.

  57. 57.

    Documents 1948, p. 289, in: Mom (1990), p. 23.

  58. 58.

    Documents 1948, p. 289, in: Mom (1990), p. 22.

  59. 59.

    Ricketson (1987), p. 449.

  60. 60.

    Documents 1948, p. 290, in: Mom (1990), p. 23.

  61. 61.

    Articles 30–33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Vienna, 23 May 1969.

  62. 62.

    Dutch Supreme Court, 30 October 1981, No. 11.739, NJ (1982), p. 435, Auteursrecht 1981/5:100, RIDA 112 (1982):168 (Amstelveense Kabel I); Dutch Supreme Court, 25 May 1984, No. 12.281, NJ (1984), p. 697, AMR 1984/3:62, AA 1986:628, GRUR Int. (1985), p. 124 (Amstelveense Kabel II); Belgian Supreme Court, 3 September 1981, GRUR Int. (1982), p. 448 (Coditel/Cine Vog Films); Swiss Supreme Court, 20 January 1981, GRUR Int. (1981), p. 404 (SUISA/Rediffusion SA); Swiss Supreme Court, 20 January 1981, GRUR Int. (1981), p. 642 (ORF/PTT en Rediffusion SA).

  63. 63.

    Premier League, para. 197; Organismos, para. 38; Airfield, para. 76; OSA, para. 32.

  64. 64.

    See cases mentioned in supra notes 35–37.

  65. 65.

    Svensson, paras. 27–28.

  66. 66.

    See AG La Pergola; see also Depreeuw (2014), p. 466.

  67. 67.

    See, for example, Art. 22(5) of the EU Community Trademark Regulation: “On request of one of the parties the grant or transfer of a licence in respect of a Community trade mark shall be entered in the Register and published”.

  68. 68.

    See also Visser (2013), at p. 45.

  69. 69.

    CJEU, 18 March 1980, No. C-62/79 (Coditel I).

  70. 70.

    Explanatory Memorandum, p. 27, para. 4.

  71. 71.

    Hugenholtz (1996), at pp. 95–99.

  72. 72.

    Recital 29 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  73. 73.

    This conclusion was already drawn in the EU’s Green Paper on copyright in the information society. The Commission suggested that exhaustion should not apply to intangible means of transmission, also known as services. This suggestion was later adopted in the case law of the CJEU and the InfoSoc Directive.

  74. 74.

    ALAI (2014, 2015); Ficsor (2014); Rosen (2015).

  75. 75.

    Recital 15 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  76. 76.

    Recital 9 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  77. 77.

    See e.g. Premier League, para. 186, and Svensson, para. 17.

  78. 78.

    Recitals 2 and 5 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  79. 79.

    Recitals 7 and 31 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  80. 80.

    Recital 10 of the InfoSoc Directive.

  81. 81.

    European Copyright Society (2013), para. 26.

  82. 82.

    See European Copyright Society (2013), para. 35; Arezzo (2014).

  83. 83.

    See AG Wathelet, 6 April 2016, No. C-160/15 (GS Media BV v. Sanoma Media Netherlands BV, Playboy Enterprises International Inc., Britt Geertruida Dekker) (hereinafter referred to as GS Media), para. 73.

  84. 84.

    See High Council for literary and artistic property (France), Report of the mission on the revision of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, December 2014, available at: http://www.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/Politiques-ministerielles/Propriete-litteraire-et-artistique/Conseil-superieur-de-la-propriete-litteraire-et-artistique/Travaux/Missions/Mission-du-CSPLA-relative-a-l-avenir-de-la-directive-2001-29-Societe-de-l-information. See also Leistner (2016), p. 580.

  85. 85.

    European Copyright Society (2013), para. 57.

  86. 86.

    For example, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam ruled in GS Media that GeenStijl did not infringe copyrights, but committed an unlawful act (tort). See Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, 19 November 2016, ECLI:NL:HR:2015:841 (GS Media B.V. v. Sanoma Media Netherlands B.V.).

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Correspondence to P. Bernt Hugenholtz.

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This article is partly based on a master’s thesis written by Sam van Velze in the Research Master in Information Law programme of IViR, under the supervision of Bernt Hugenholtz.

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Hugenholtz, P.B., van Velze, S.C. Communication to a New Public? Three Reasons Why EU Copyright Law Can Do Without a “New Public”. IIC 47, 797–816 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-016-0512-7

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Keywords

  • Copyright
  • Communication to the public
  • New public
  • Berne Convention
  • Hyperlinking
  • Aggregation