UNLAWFUL STREAMING IS AS INFRINGING AS UNLAWFUL DOWNLOADS – FURTHER GUIDANCE FROM THE CJEU ON “COMMUNICATION TO THE PUBLIC”

The post below was first published on our Intellectual Propertyblog

The CJEU has issued its ruling in Filmspeler that the sale of a multimedia player specifically configured to link to websites on which protected works are made available to internet users, without the consent of the copyright holders, is a ‘communication to the public’ within the meaning of the InfoSoc Directive, and hence an actionable infringement.

This decision follows a number of CJEU decisions in which the meaning of ‘communication to the public’ has been discussed and broadens the potential group of defendants who might now be regarded a primarily liable for unauthorised acts of ‘communication to the public’ to those who sell piracy-enabled set-top boxes, such as those supplied with software like the neutral Kodi streaming platform, to which add-ons have been installed, designed to receive protected works (such as films, TV shows or live sports) that are made available to internet users without the consent of the copyright holders, with minimal input from the end user.

1. Business Impact

2. The Decision

3. Brexit

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LEGISLATING FOR THE UK’S WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EU – THE GOVERNMENT’S WHITE PAPER ON THE GREAT REPEAL BILL

On 30 March 2017 the Government published its White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill: Legislating for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

The principal purpose of the Great Repeal Bill will be to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (the "ECA"), which gives effect and priority to EU law in the UK – thereby formally reasserting the sovereignty and independence of domestic law from the EU.

In order to avoid the risk of a large vacuum in UK law when EU law ceases to apply, the Bill will also preserve and convert into domestic law the whole body of EU law applying to the UK at the time it leaves the EU (to the extent it has not already been implemented domestically).  The Bill will also create powers for the Government to make secondary legislation in order to adjust EU-derived law that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU (for example because it refers to the involvement of an EU institution or is predicated on access to an EU regime or system).  These powers will not be available for policy changes not designed to deal with such deficiencies. 

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