The draft European Parliament report on the InfoSoc Directive, sometimes also called the Copyright Directive, has generated an enormous wave of responses. It was presented by the Member of the Parliament (MEP) responsible for leading the file, Julia Reda, to the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) on 20 January.
What are the next steps and what is the report’s ultimate significance? After all of the relevant Committees have transmitted their opinions, JURI will vote on the report and transmit it to the Plenary. If it is adopted there, it becomes a non-legislative and non-binding resolution in which the Parliament states its current position on certain matters of copyright reform. The Parliament hereby communicates to the Commission what it expects of future copyright legislation. This in turn can shape the Commission’s proposal for copyright reform, which is expected within this year. The Parliament has a notoriously short memory, especially of its own positions, so it will not consider itself bound by anything it decides upon now.
This morning the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its decision in Case C-463/12 Copydan Båndkopi, a reference for a preliminary ruling from Denmark, seeking clarification on key questions relating to the so-called ‘private copying’ exception under Article 5(2)(b) of the Information Society Directive 2001/29.
Today CJEU ruled that with regard to the adaptation right, it is true that the InfoSoc Directive does not mention it. However, a situation like the one at hand, ie paper poster and canvas transfer of copyright-protected works, falls within the scope of Article 4(1) of the InfoSoc Directive. Also, exhaustion of the right of distribution under under Article 4(2) of the InfoSoc Directive only applies to the tangible support of a work.
Julia Reda, the MEP representative for the Pirate Party from Germany is the rapporteur for the European Union copyright reform dossier - that is the report on the implementation of the previous directive on this matter from 2001 (the so-called “Infosoc Directive”).
The Advocate General held that Article 4(1) of the InfoSoc Directive must be interpreted in the sense that the right to distribution within the meaning of that provision includes the right of the copyright owner of the original or copies thereof to prohibit anyone from offering for sale to the public said original or the copies without his/her consent, provided that such offer displays a clear intention to conclude a contract that would involve the transfer of ownership over the original or the copies of a work.