3 Count: European Rulings

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1: YouTube Secures a Big Win in the EU Over Copyright

First off today, Ryan Browne at CNBC reports that the European Union’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (EUCJ), has handed down a ruling in favor of YouTube and other large content hosts by saying that they are not liable for copyright infringing material uploaded by users, as long as they work to quickly remove such infringements after notification.

The lawsuit was filed by music producer Frank Peterson who alleged that YouTube was hosting many of songs he held the rights to. However, the court has ruled that YouTube doesn’t have liability in this case because they worked to remove the works after notification.

It’s worth noting that this case deals with the previous set of EU laws in this area. In legislation that recently took effect, the EU has begun requiring that services like YouTube engage in some level of content filtering to prevent infringing material from being uploaded. It is unclear how that change would have impacted this case.

2: EU Court Rules in Telenet Copyright Case

Next up today, Tim Richardson at The Register reports that the EUCJ has also handed down a ruling in a case involving an alleged “copyright troll” and a Belgium-based ISP.

Microm International Content Management Consulting had previously sought to compel the Belgian ISP Telenet to turn over the names and information of users that were accused of sharing files via BitTorrent. The case was before a Belgian court, which turned to the CJEU for guidance on it.

According to the CJEU, the rightsholder does have the right to compel ISPs to turn over such information but only as long as the demands and actions are “proportionate and not abuse”. As such, this case goes back before the Belgian court for a possible decision there.

3: 7th Circuit Squashes Floor-Plan Copyright Owner for Third Time

Finally today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Design Basics LLC on allegations that a different home design company had illegally copied their designs.

The case began when Design Basics filed a lawsuit against Kerstiens Homes & Designs over allegations that the latter had copied a floor plan they hold the rights to. However, in its third ruling against Design Basics, the 7th Circuit again shot down those claims, saying that the similarities between the two plans are not protectable under copyright.

Design Basics is widely regarded as a copyright troll, having filed more than 100 infringement complaints against home builders. The court also upheld an award of nearly $520,000 in attorneys’ fees for Kerstiens.

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