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EU Copyright directive

Changes in the German copyright law

23 April, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The extension of the copyright law aimed at fighting illegal file-sharing adopted on 11 April 2008 by the German Government creates concerns on how the p2p-related lawsuits will be considered under the new law.

The new text forces the ISPs to reveal the names and IP addresses of the file sharers. However, some lawyers warn that the procedure is limited by conditions that could turn against the music industry in court procedings .

The present procedure is as follows: industry detectives report the IP numbers of file sharers to the German police who traces the suspects and prosecutes those who offer more than 1000 tracks. However, the industry can demand the police files of all file sharers and

Sony BMG accused of using pirated software

26 March, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Sony BMG has been accused by PointDev company of having used Ideal Migration, the administration software for Windows servers and client accounts, without having a licence.

On 22 January 2008, a bailiff mandated by PointDev found an illegal installation of the software on four computers belonging to Sony BMG. Paul-Henry Agustoni, owner and administrator of the editor claims 300 000 euro damages from Sony BMG.

The case started in November 2007 when a Sony employee requested online technical support from PointDev. Ideal Migration, like all the other products of the company is proposed on the Internet in a trial version. Following the purchase of the product, the client is provided with a key

The Swedish Government decided to take measures against filesharers

26 March, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Although initially the Swedish Government promised not to hunt down young people for filesharing, on 14 March 2008, it made a proposal that will allow courts to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to give up IP addresses used for illegal filesharing to the owners of the fileshared material.

The government's present proposal means the rejection of the previous alternative proposed by Appeals Court judge Cecilia Renfors who was suggesting ISPs should shut down users who repeatedly downloaded copyrighted material without permission.

ISPs welcomed the government decision considering that Renfors' proposal would have put the providers "in a position of having to police our own

Creative content online - main topic in new EC documents

19 December, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A new policy paper drafted by the European Commission (EC) shows its intention to promote new measures to fight against illegal file-sharing, taking as a positive example the French agreement between ISPs and the record industries already presented in EDRI-gram.

The policy paper obtained by EurActiv and entitled "Creative content online in the Single Market" wants to involve all the stakeholders in the activities against piracy: "It seems appropriate to instigate co-operation procedures between access and service providers, right holders and consumers".

The Commission communication also talks about the development of new legal offers of digital content available for consumers, educational programs to

European scientific information - too late on open access?

5 December, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The recent meeting on 22-24 November 2007 of the Competitiveness European Council meeting adopted its conclusions on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation.

The conclusions underline the importance of scientific output resulting from publicly funded research being available on the Internet at no cost to the reader under economically viable circumstances, including delayed open access. They also ask the member countries "to systematically assess conditions that affect access to scientific information", including:
a.The way in which researchers exercise their copyright on scientific articles;
b.The level of investments in the dissemination of scientific

EU court confirms the 497 million euro fine against Microsoft

26 September, 2007
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Microsoft has lost the appeal made to the Court of First Instance against the European Commission's (EC) ruling of monopoly abuse that obliged Microsoft to grant competitors access to its server protocols and to unbundle its Media Player software from its Windows operating system .

The case has a long history; following a complaint in 2003 from Novell that accused Microsoft of making server protocol information unavailable, the European Commission gave a preliminary ruling ordering Microsoft to unbundled Windows Media Player from Windows and to give information to competitors to ensure compatibility with Windows servers. Considering Microsoft had not complied with that ruling, in March 2004, the European Commission fined Microsoft with the highest fine in the EU history - 497 million euro.

CSS protection used in DVDs is "ineffective"

6 June, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

In an unanimous decision on 25 May 2007, the Helsinki District Court ruled that Content Scrambling System (CSS) used in DVD movies is "ineffective". The decision is the first in Europe to interpret new copyright law amendments, based on EU Copyright Directive of 2001, that bans the circumvention of "effective technological measures". According to both Finnish copyright law and the above-mentioned directive, only such protection measure is effective, "which achieves the protection objective."

The background of the case was that after the copyright law amendment was accepted in 2005, a group of Finnish computer hobbyists and activists opened a website where they posted information on how to circumvent CSS.

Private copy explained by Court of Appeal in Paris

12 April, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A new decision of the Paris Court of Appeal in the case Mulholland Drive considers that there is no right to the private copy that can forbid the presence of the DRMs, but the private copy can be a good argument for defence in cases of counterfeiting.

The case was brought up in 2003 by a consumer joined by the Association UFC-Que Choisir that made a complaint against the producers of the movie Mulholland Drive because the legally acquired DVD was protected by DRMs that did not permit the consumer to make a copy in order to see it on a VHS cassette at his parents' home. The DVD had no clear indication that it could be used only with some specific devices.

After a four year legal battle, with ups and downs, the case was returned to

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