Lawrence Graham's angle on intellectual property, media and sport issues.
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  • CJEU finds in favour of broadcasters in 'live-streaming' dispute

    On Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") held that websites which retransmit free-to-air television programmes over the internet without permission of the original broadcaster are infringing the copyright in the programme content.

     

    The decision relates to proceedings brought by ITV Broadcasting Ltd and others, including Channel 4 and Channel 5, ("the Broadcasters") against TVCatchup Ltd ("TVC") in the English High Court with the Broadcasters claiming that TVC's service is an infringement of their copyright in their broadcasts and films.

     

    TVC offers a service by which a subscriber pays a fee and is then able ...

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  • Hooper Report outlines strategy for UK-based 'Copyright Hub'

    The Hooper Report, a Government commissioned review into a centralised digital copyright exchange, has outlined a strategy for a not-for-profit, industry-led and funded, UK-based 'Copyright Hub'.

    As we reported here, the recommendation is in response to the 2011 Hargreaves Report, which suggested that streamlining copyright registration in the UK could bolster innovation and growth for UK businesses.

    The Copyright Hub will link to many national and international copyright exchanges, registries and databases and operate on a strictly voluntary, opt-in, non-exclusive basis.

    The Government will use the Copyright Hub to:

    • Educate users about UK copyright law;
    • Enable copyright owners to ...

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  • Website owner convicted of conspiracy to defraud in piracy case

    Mr Anton Vickerman, the owner of the internet streaming site 'Surfthechannel', has been convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud by facilitating the infringement of copyright, following an eight week trial at Newcastle Crown Court.  Mr Vickerman will be sentenced on 30 July 2012.

     

    Surfthechannel hosted web pages that offered links to third party sites hosting illegally copied content.  It employed a number of IT programmers to source pirated material and to find the codes needed to gain access to the illegally copied content.  Users were also encouraged to find, check and add links to help keep the ...

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  • Ofcom publishes its draft copyright code for ISPs

    Ofcom has today published a draft code in relation to its regulation of the obligations of internet services providers ("ISPs") under the Digital Economy Act for the public consultation.  A copy of the draft code can be viewed here.

     

    The code requires ISPs to notify its users in writing of any allegations that their network connection has been used to infringe copyright.  These letters are to be sent out at least one month apart by the ISPs and they must set out the steps its users can take to protect their networks from being used to infringe copyright and direct ...

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  • IPO publishes summary of responses to 2011 Hargreaves Report on copyright reform

    The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a summary of respondents' views to the 2011 Hargreaves Report on Copyright Reform.

    In May 2011 the Government published the Hargreaves report "Digital Opportunity – A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth" which contained several recommendations. Please see our previous blog here for more information on the recommendations in the report.    

    On 14 December 2011, the Government initiated a public consultation in relation to the report's recommendations. The consultation lasted 14 weeks and 471 responses were received from representative bodies, large companies, small and medium sized enterprises, independent media professionals, the legal profession ...

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  • European Commission launches public consultation on takedown of illegal web content

    On 4 June 2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation across the EU called "A clean and open Internet: Public consultation on procedures for notifying and acting on illegal content hosted by online intermediaries".

    The Commission are seeking responses from Internet Service Providers ("ISPs"), organisations that notify the authorities of illegal content and civil rights organisations.  

    The European Directive on E-Commerce requires the Commission to develop procedures for notifying and removing illegal or infringing content but it does not regulate these procedures in detail.

    The consultation is in response to lobbying from ISPs for clearer and more robust rules ...

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  • The Pirate Bay walks the plank

    Last week, the High Court ruled that 5 of the UK's biggest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (Sky, Everything Everywhere, O2, Talk Talk and Virgin Media) must take steps to block their users accessing Swedish file sharing website The Pirate Bay ("TPB"), after the matter was brought before the court by the British Phonographic Industry ("BPI").  BT, the sixth defendant in the case, has requested more time to consider its position.

    TPB was launched in 2003 and provides links to pirated videos and music files.  In July 2011, BPI asked TPB to take down music that infringed its members’ copyright.  Having ...

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  • UKIPO announces additional IP support for SMEs

    The Intellectual Property Office ("IPO") has announced new measures designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") protect their intellectual property.

    The measures form part of the government's new Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, which is intended to increase investment in research and innovation in the UK.

    The changes are a consequence of the Hargreaves review which proposed that the IPO should produce plans to improve the accessibility of the intellectual property system to smaller companies.

    The Department for Innovation, Business and Skills has said SMEs will benefit from:

    • Free IP audits through organisations such as the Technology ...

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  • What to watch in 2012

    2012 is set to be a busy year with celebrations for the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee taking place.  However, the IP and media world's focus will be on the following issues over the coming 12 months:

     

    Ambush Marketing - The Olympic year has arrived and a number of businesses will be looking to take advantage of the Olympics in their advertising and marketing campaigns over the upcoming months.  We will be keeping a close eye on how LOCOG deal with businesses that fall foul of the rules governing ambush marketing. For more information on ambush marketing see our blog ...

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  • UKIPO issues Copyright Consultation

    The UK Intellectual Property Office ("UKIPO") yesterday issued a consultation paper regarding the Government's proposed changes to the UK's copyright system following the publication of the Hargreaves report in May 2011.  The consultation invites feedback from interested parties on the proposals.  The consultation paper can be viewed here.   

    The consultation proposals include widening copyright exceptions to allow limited private copying (e.g. making it legal to copy a CD to an MP3 player), widening the exception for non-commercial research and library archiving and introducing a new exception for parody and pastiche.

    The parody exception is one that has long been called for ...

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