ICE announces new Nordic partners and new brand
Copyright , Music Publishing / December 2015

COPYRIGHT Music publishing     PRS for Music have announced that the Koda (Denmark), TONO (Norway) and Teosto (Finland) performing rights societies are integrating their copyright data and services with the ICE.  ICE’s mandate is to hold a single multi-territory, multi-rights entry for a copyright work.  The decision was taken by the societies to set up the ‘Polaris Nordic initiative’ to offer their members a more efficient and cost-effective service.  PRS for Music also tells us about its new branding for ICE and tells us in marketing babble: “The existing ICE branding refreshes with a new master logo and an additional set of service descriptor logos”.   In addition, ICE partners announced the first appointments to the new expanded ICE offering.  Ben McEwen will transfer from PRS for Music to take up post as Commercial Director of ICE Licensing to lead the licensing and front office rightsholder acquisition and management functions.  Neil Jones will be seconded from PRS for Music as the Services Director for ICE Services and will drive the setup of the operational and professional functions.   Robert Ashcroft was appointed as the CEO of the ICE Licensing and ICE Services arm of the hub earlier this summer,…

Oister Oi! A small episode of infringement
Copyright / December 2014

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, advertising   This update comes from the 1709 copyright blog and examines litigation in Denmark before the splendidly-named Maritime and Commercial Court in which a production team and reggae band sued an advertising agency and a mobile broadband provider for copyright infringement involving a very short snippet of work. The defendants initially asked the claimants to produce both text and music for a commercial. This was done; the defendants approved the material and a deal was struck between them which expired in February 2013. Some time after the expiry of the agreement, the defendants produced a new commercial which, said the claimants, used a three-note music sequence and the words “oister oi” which infringed copyright in the work originally produced under the agreement. The defendants denied any infringement, saying that the text merely consisted of the broadband provider’s name, Oister, and the word ‘oi’ [apparently ‘hello’ in Portuguese: can someone verify this?], and the music was only three notes taken from a whole piece. The court ruled that, when assessing whether the fragment “Oister Oi” was protected by copyright, the text and music must be evaluated as a whole and had to have an overall level of…

Pirate Bay judges cleared of bias, website forced offline in Germany
Copyright , Internet / June 2010

COPYRIGHT Internet A number of Swedish judges who were members of copyright interest groups have been cleared of bias charges and approved to preside over the appeal of convictions for operators of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay. Complaints were lodged by the defendants in the criminal trials of the Pirate Bay organisers after it emerged that Judges Ulrika Ihrfelt and Kristina Boutz were members of local Swedish pro-copyright organizations, but Sweden’s Supreme Court has found no conflict of interest and cleared them to hear the trial. The operators of The Pirate Bay were found guilty of copyright infringement in April 2009, and sentenced to a year in prison and combined fines of $3.9 million. The appeal of their convictions is now expected to be heard some time in late 2010. In related news, a German court has granted a preliminary injunction against the current Germany-based Web hosts of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, TorrentFreak has reported.  The Motion Picture Association petitioned a court in Hamburg for an injunction against CB3ROB Ltd, operators of the CyberBunker Web hosting service. The court said that CyberBunker must specifically remove links to torrents purporting to facilitate downloads of “The Bounty Hunter,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Our…

REM launch action against Hej Matematik
Copyright , Music Publishing / March 2009

COPYRIGHT Music publishing A copyright dispute between Danish pop duo Hej Matematik and REM may backfire on the US band after REM’s label Warners filed an action against Hej Matematik’s Copenhagen Records of blatantly copying R.E.M.’s recent offering ‘Supernatural Superserious’ in a track ‘Walkmand’. As a consequence Hej Matematik are now blocked from uploading their new song ‘Walkmand’ to YouTube and MySpace. The twist is that the duo’s ‘Walkmand’ is a cover version of a 1980s Danish hit by Danish singer Michael Hardinger. Hardinger reportedly approves of Hej Matematik’s interpretation. R.E.M.’s song ‘Supernatural Superserious’ on the other hand appears to first have been released in February 2008. Nicolaj Rasted, one of the members of Hej Matematik, is cited as saying: “We really can’t hear the similarity ourselves and if there’s any at all, then it would be that ‘Walkmand’ originated from a sample of Michael Hardinger’s ‘Walk, Mand!!’ from 1981.” Hej Matematik’s is now reportedly trying to settle the matter with R.E.M. and Warner Music. The Copenhagen Post reports that angry Hej Matematik supporters are now flooding YouTube with negative comments. The IPKat has just noticed that busy Hej Matematik fans have already ‘amended’ the Wikipedia entry for ‘Supernatural Superserious’…

Danish court confirms Pirate bay illegal and blocks access
Copyright , Internet / December 2008

COPYRIGHT Internet Music companies have welcomed a Danish ruling involving the world’s best known pirate distributor of  music, books and films. The decision confirms the illegality of Sweden’s Pirate Bay and requires a Danish ISP to implement measures to block access to the site. The judgment by the Danish appeal court upholds the decision earlier this year requiring access to the Pirate Bay to be blocked.  The court confirmed the mass scale infringement taking place on the Pirate Bay site and that the ISP in question, Sonofon, is contributing to the infringements by allowing access to the pirate site.  It is the latest step forward in attempts by the creative industries to engage ISPs in helping stop massive copyright infringement on the internet. The ruling was welcomed by IFPI, representing a membership of some 1,400 record companies internationally.  FPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said: “This is a very important decision which sets a precedent for other countries and highlights the key role that ISPs should play in helping protect copyright online. The ruling is also a clear confirmation of the illegality of the Pirate Bay, coming just a few weeks before the criminal prosecution of the site’s operators in Sweden” adding “for…

Pirate Bay blocked in Denmark
Copyright , Internet / March 2008

COPYRIGHT Internet There was more good news for the record labels in Denmark. Following the news Swedish prosecutors last week charged four men behind The Pirate Bay, a Danish court has now ordered Internet Service Provider Tele2 to block access to the BitTorrent tracker, meaning anyone accessing the internet in Denmark via Tele2 will no longer be able access the Bay. It is believed that the ISP may appeal the order as, like many ISPs, it does not feel it is right for ISPs to police their members’ activities. Whilst Tele2 is only one of several ISPs in Denmark, the legal precedent could be extended to other internet providers, and beyond the Danish jurisdiction also – the Finnish division of the IFPI is reportedly already considering pursuing a similar order through the courts there.

Norway rules that Apple DRM is illegal
Competition , Record Labels / February 2007

COMPETITION Labels, technology As France, Germany and Finland join the growing list of countries looking at iTune’s DRM and lack inter-operability which include Sweden and Denmark, the Norwegian Ombudsman rules the software illegal and the Dutch Consumer Protection Agency joins the protest against Apple in the Netherlands.   http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/24/apple_drm_illegal_in_norway/ http://www.canada.com/topics/technology/news/gizmos/story.html?id=bdd7e7d2-1639-46a5-bb71-f9830c61b608&k=878

IFPI continue actions against file swappers
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2006

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Legal actions against thousands of music file-sharers across the world have been announced as the recording industry stepped up its campaign to deter copyright theft and promote legitimate use of music on the internet. Over 8,000 new cases in 17 countries are being announced today, including the first ever cases against illegal file-sharing in the two biggest markets of South America and in Eastern Europe.   A total of more than 13,000 legal actions have now been taken outside the United States. Legal actions are being extended to Brazil, where more than one billion music tracks were illegally downloaded last year and a country where record company revenues have nearly halved since 2000. Mexico and Poland are also seeing actions for the first time – while a further 14 countries are launching fresh actions against illegal file-sharing.  Over 2,300 of people have already paid the price for illegally file-sharing copyrighted material, with average legal settlements of €2,420.   Many of those on the receiving end of legal action are parents whose children have been illegally file-sharing.  They are finding that in many countries they are liable for any activities third parties undertake using their internet connection.  In…

Danish courts require ISP’s to cut off infringers access
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / March 2006

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The Danish Supreme Court confirming that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can be obliged to terminate the internet connections of customers engaged in internet piracy. The case, involving two individuals operating illegal FTP servers, will set an important precedent for the responsibilities of ISPs in cases involving illegal filesharing.  ISPs may now face action by copyright owners, requiring them to stop providing internet services to customers that use those services to distribute copyright material over peer-to-peer networks.  The ruling ends a long-running legal battle between telecommunications company TDC and Denmark’s AntiPiracyGroup , representing copyright owners from the Danish music and film industries. The ruling will oblige TDC, and other ISPs, to act immediately when they are notified that one of their customers is using their internet account to infringe copyright. In the event of non-compliance, copyright owners will be able to ask the court for an injunction against the service provider . The AntiPiracyGroup consists of the members of IFPI Denmark, Danish Video Distributors Association, Danish Film Distributors Association, KODA (Composers, Publishers and Songwriters in Denmark), Nordic Copyright Bureau, the Danish Musicians’ Union and the Danish Artists Association. Source: IFPI www.ifpi.org

Danish court rejects claim of liability against the Roskilde Festival
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006

HEALTH & SAFETY Live event industry A claim to apportion blame after the tragedy at the Roskilde Fetsival in 2000 has been rejected by the High Court for Eastern Denmark. The court rejected the request from Finn and Eunice Tonnenson, parents of 17 year old Allan Tonnesen, one of the nine young people who were killed during a Pearl Jam performance. Tonnesen’s parents had claimed that the organisers of the Roskilde Festival had accepted responsibility for the tragedy by making an $11,000 payment to families. However the court ruled that effectively no one person or organisation was to blame. Two previous investigations by the local police and later the Public Prosecutor (District Attorney) for Zealand had concluded that the accident was the result of several unfortunate circumstances and no one was to be held responsible. The initial police investigation, based on 977 interviews with band members, organisers and rescue workers said that the deaths occurred because of “a chain of unfortunate circumstances”, but placed most of the blame on the 50,000 crowd. It found that poor sound in the back caused fans to surge toward the stage and the tragedy was compounded by confusion over who should stop the music….

IFPI Announces A Wave of International Legal Actions Against File Swappers

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists, Music Publishers IFPI and the recording industry associations in Denmark, Germany, Italy and Canada have announced the first wave of international lawsuits charging individuals with illegally file-sharing copyrighted music. A total of 247 alleged illegal file-sharers face legal action in a move that steps up the record industry’s international campaign against online copyright theft. Further waves of lawsuits against major offenders will be launched in different countries in the coming months. The legal actions charge the individuals with illegally making available hundreds of music tracks for copying, transmission and distribution via file-sharing services. However the move comes against a backdrop of criticisms in the United States where the Recording Industry Association of America has already used similar tactics. Critics point out that the European legal download market is still hampered by a lack of available rights and that the use of lawsuits is heavy handed. However the IFPI argue that More than 600,000 consumers in Europe alone are now accessing a large catalogue of 300,000 tracks that are available from 50 legal online sites. Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI. said: “Today’s announcement should come as no surprise. Over the past year the record industry…

LEGO BLOCK NOT PROTECTED AS A TRADE MARK IN CANADA
Artists , Internet , Patents , Record Labels , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK, PATENTS Record Labels, Artists, Merchandisers, Internet Kirkbi AG & Lego Canada Inc. -v- Ritvik Holdings Inc. In this case the Federal Court of Appeal held that the design of a lego block was not protected by Trade Mark in Canada and that functional features of a toy design are properly the subject of patent law and not subject to trade-mark protection. The facts of the case where that the Canadian company Megabloks made a building brick very similar to those produced and distributed for decades by the Danish manufacturer, Lego. In an attempt to halt the sale of the Mega Bloks bricks, Lego brought a passing off action on the basis that the Mega Bloks bricks infringed the (unregistered) trade-mark rights of Lego in the distinguishing guise of the bricks particularly the protruding knobs by which the bricks interlocked. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Federal Court, Trial Division who dismissed Lego’s claim and held that due to the doctrine of functionality, the look of the Lego bricks could not be the subject of a valid trade-mark. Functionality is the proper subject matter of patents, not Trade Marks. The Federal Court of Appeal commented that Lego, through…