December 2006
Volume 28 Number 7
  


International Developments


A UNESCO treaty on cultural diversity will take effect in March 2007 - over Hollywood's objections - after being ratified by 35 nations, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
http://portal.unesco.org/en/
ev.php-URL_ID=36209&URL_DO=
DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html


The European Court of Justice has held that Spain violated the EC Rental & Lending Rights Directive by exempting almost all establishments from the obligation to pay royalties to authors of loaned works .

Commission of the European Communities v. Kingdom of Spain
Case C-36/05 (2006)

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/
form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=
Rechercher$docrequire=alldocs&numaff=< br>C-36/05&datefs=&datefe=&nomusuel=
&domaine=&mots=&resmax=100


An appeals court in Australia has held that the operator of the website mp3s4free.net violated that country's Copyright Act by linking to other websites from which infringing music recordings could be downloaded.

Cooper v Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd
[2006] FCAFC 187
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/
cases/cth/FCAFC/2006/187.html


The Canadian Supreme Court has held that The Globe and Mail newspaper may not republish freelance articles in electronic databases from which articles may be retrieved individually, though it may republish freelance articles on a CD-ROM that displays an entire issue of the newspaper.

Robertson v. Thomson Corp.
2006 SCC 43
http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/
2006/2006scc43/2006scc43.html


Washington Monitor


It is now OK to circumvent technological measures that control access to certain kinds of copyrighted works, despite the DMCA's general ban on circumvention, including some movies and TV programs used by film professors in college classes, and video games in obsolete formats, the Librarian of Congress has ruled.

Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies
71 Federal Register 68472
(Copyright Office, Library of Congress 2006)
http://www.copyright.gov/
fedreg/2006/71fr68472.html


In the News


Sony BMG Music has settled claims made by California and Texas as a result of the company's selling CDs containing secret copy-prevention software that infected users' computers.

California Settlement Announcement and Documents
http://www.caag.state.ca.us/newsalerts/release.php?id=1400

Texas Settlement Announcement and Documentshttp://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=1889


Recent Cases


Virgin Records has been awarded an injunction barring an Internet user from downloading Virgin's music without a license.

Virgin Records America, Inc. v. Johnson
441 F.Supp.2d 963
2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 56021
(N.D.Ind. 2006)


Universal Studios has been granted an injunction and statutory copyright infringement damages against a KaZaA user who downloaded the movie “Half-Baked,” saved it in a shared directory on his computer, and made it available to other KaZaA users.

Universal City Studios Productions v. Bigwood
441 F.Supp.2d 185
2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 51315
(D.Me. 2006)


The History Channel has won dismissal of a defamation case filed against it by a member of the Catholic Church, who had sued on behalf of the Church, because the History Channel's broadcast of “Beyond the Da Vinci Code” did not refer to him personally, nor could he be identified as the target of any of the show's statements.

Viola v. A & E Television Networks
433 F.Supp.2d 613
2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 58864
(W.D.Pa. 2006)


A clothing company infringed the trademarks of USC, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State by selling clothes bearing the schools' color schemes and initials.

Board of Supervisors of LA State v. Smack Apparel
438 F.Supp.2d 653
2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 51023
(E.D.La. 2006)


The Communications Decency Act grants immunity to those who republish defamatory statements on the Internet, even if they do so after being warned that the statements are untrue; only the original speaker may be sued, the California Supreme Court has ruled

Barrett v. Rosenthal
40 Cal.4th 33
2006 Cal. LEXIS 13529
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/
opinions/documents/S122953.PDF

(Cal. 2006)


Departments

 


Previously Reported:

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied cert in

Brown v. Perdue
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/
orders/courtorders/111306pzor.pdf


In the Law Reviews

Educational Programs Calendar