6 October 2016Copyright

Taylor Wessing talks ancillary rights at copyright seminar

Law firm Taylor Wessing hosted a copyright seminar yesterday and discussed press publishers’ ancillary rights.

Adam Rendle, senior associate at the firm, began the seminar, which WIPR attended, by giving an overview of the EU copyright reforms.

He discussed the recent GS Media v Sanoma case, which saw the Court Justice of the European Union rule that posting a hyperlink to a website that has published unauthorised photographs does not in itself constitute copyright infringement when done without knowledge of the unauthorised publication.

He added that the decision emphasised the “knowledge of the person doing the act”, which has not been used to such a great extent in previous cases.

Further, Rendle said that knowledge “becomes a separate condition” for the first time.

Knowledge, Rendle said, “is a new and important criteria” in copyright law cases.

On September 14, WIPR reported that the proposed modernised EU copyright rules had been released.

The ancillary right would have a duration of 20 years and mean that publishers could charge services like Google for displaying parts of their work in search results.

Additionally, a similar right has already been introduced in two EU countries, Germany and Spain.

Rendle gave an overview of the ancillary right to delegates and explained that the European Commission believes that press publishers find it difficult to protect their works as “they’re not rights owners”, so the commission gave them an ancillary right to protect their works.

He then discussed how to define infringement of this ancillary right, including whether it should be defined as use of an article or the publication as a whole.

This question applies to the right to reproduction and make copyright available, and would apply to digital use of press publications.

Rendle questioned how this digital use applies to a collection of works on a website and asked what the work is because it is “changing minute by minute”.

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