Viagogo faces fresh legal actions for ticket re-sales
Consumers , Contract , Live Events / March 2017
Italy
Switzerland
UK

CONSUMER / CONTRACT Live events sector   Hot on the heels of news that Viagogo were selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert at the the Royal Albert Hall at vastly inflated prices, the now Geneva based secondary ticketing platform is facing fresh legal action from a coalition of Spanish promoters, “adding to its ever-growing collection of lawsuits”. The second lawsuit of 2017 follows the outcry over the speculative selling of tickets for a postponed show by Joaquín Sabina in A Coruña (Corunna), Spain, next July, and in a joint statement, the promoters of Sabina’s Lo niego todo (I deny everything) tour, TheProject, Get In and Riff Producciones, and his management company, Berry Producciones, say they are “outraged” and intend to bring legal action action against Viagogo for the fraudulent listing of “tickets that do not exist”.   A spokesperson told IQ magazine that the parties’ lawyers are currently in the process of filing the action and that the lawsuit mirrors one filed by SIAE in late January, in Italy in which the Italian collection society alleged Viagogo listed tickets for a Vasco Rossi show in Modena before they went on sale on the primary market in a move that dragged Live…

UK ticket tout jailed for fraud, whist Swiss promoters seek better regulation
Switzerland
UK

CONSUMER / CRIMINAL Live events sector     A ticket tout who sold over £400,000 worth of bogus concert and sports tickets in a 13-month period between May 2009 and June 2010 has been jailed for three-and-a-half years. John Lupton (53) of Upper Norwood, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court where he was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading and one count of money laundering. He has also been banned from acting as a company director until 2026. The London Evening Standard reported that defrauded customers paid £636,000 to two of Lupton’s dummy companies, Lines Direct Ltd and Williams & Hill Ltd, but at least £435,000 worth of tickets were not supplied, When buyers requested refunds, they found that the companies had been dissolved and their bank accounts cleared. Companies House also lists three other companies of which Lupton is or was a director: Festival Ticket Store Ltd, Dracrow Ltd and Commercial Logistics and Trading Ltd. It appears that whist a director of the companies,  Lupton was not the ‘brains’ behind the operation, and investigations continue. Allison Clare, prosecuting, said there is no prospect of recovering the money as Lupton was sleeping on his mother’s settee and living off…

Jackson fans get one euro each from Murray for King of Pop’s death
Artists / March 2014
Belgium
France
Switzerland
USA

MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE Artists   A court in Orléans, France, has ruled that five Michael Jackson fans should receive damages of one euro each from Conrad Murray for the “emotional damage” they suffered following the late king of pop’s death. Murray was found guilty in 2011 of causing Jackson’s demise by providing negligence treatment while working as the singer’s personal doctor. A total of 34 members of the Michael Jackson Community fan club, which is based in France, sued the doctor. The Orléans court ruled that just five of them – two from France, two from Belgium and one from and Switzerland – had proven that they had legitimate claims against the former doctor. Each was awarded symbolic damages of one euro. The lawyer acting on behalf of the fans, Emmanuel Ludot, told AFP: “As far as I know, this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised”. Ludot added that none of the five fans intend to seek their payout from Murray, but instead hoped that their legal status as victims of Jackson’s death would gain them access to his burial site. A Californian court has…

Shakira’s ex denied access to “shared” bank account
General / August 2013
Switzerland

CONTRACT Artistes   A court in Geneva has ruled that Antonio de la Rua, the ex-boyfriend and former business partner of Shakira, must be denied to one of the singer’s bank accounts. De la Rua had claimed that he should have access to the account because it contained revenues from his former business partnership with the star. De la Rua, the son of former Argentine president Fernando de la Rua, sued Shakira last November, claiming that the singer had reneged on business commitments made after the couple’s romantic relationship ended. He argues that while Shakira initially said their professional relationship would continue after they split as a couple in 2010, last year she dropped his business services, cutting him out of the profits of deals he claims he negotiated, including a major contract with Live Nation. The Swiss court had ruled that de la Rua did not have sufficient evidence to prove what agreements the couple reached regards Shakira’s business affairs in 2010 and de la Rua conceded that the agreement had not been written down. The bank account in the current action was in Shakira’s sole name. De la Rua’s $100 million law suit against his ex is being…

Viagogo ups sticks and leaves the UK
Business , Live Events / June 2012
Switzerland
UK

BUSINESS Ticketing, Live Events   In the wake of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme and a High Court order requiring disclosure of customer details, Viagogo has wound up its UK company and seemingly moved its base to Switzerland. On the 22nd March Viagogo changed its name to Consolidated Information Services Ltd and then put the company into liquidation 4 days later.  The Viagogo website is now operated by Viagogo AG.  The High Court order, obtained by the Rugby Football Union in May 2011 and confirmed on appeal, required the company to reveal details of customers re-selling ‘Six Nation’ Rugby Union matches. Viagogo maintains it will not release customer information.   http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4631 and http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4682

Hard Cheese for content owners in the cantons
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2012
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels, film industry Torrentfreak reports that the Swiss Government has decided that downloading music and movies will stay legal With an estimated one in three of the Swiss population admitting to downloading content without permission, Swiss policy will now be that downloading for personal use WILL be legal since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products. The Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society and their findings and the overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change. The Report notes that whilst the photocopier, audio cassette tape and VCR were all excellent and efficient copying devices, the internet has an added ‘bonus’- the world wide web offers near instant and global distribution of copies at the click of a button. The Report, which favours the option of putting technology to good use instead of taking the “repressive” approach says “Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been “abused”. This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use…

Swiss court holds that IP addresses are personal private data
Copyright , Internet / October 2010
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Internet The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that software which identified the internet protocol (IP) address of unauthorised music uploaders broke the country’s data protection law. The court backed that country’s Data Protection Commissioner, who said that Logistep violated Switzerland’s Data Protection Act when it used the software. The IP addresses were personal data, the Court said, and processing that data without the knowledge or permission of the person concerned was a breach of the law, it said. The Court recognised the economic interest that copyright holders had in stopping the illegal sharing of material in which they had rights, but said that that interest did not justify what it called a significant intrusion into the privacy of each affected user. The status of IP addresses has been hotly contested in Europe, with some arguing that they are personal data as defined in the EU’s Data Protection Directive, and others arguing that though they are personal data in some circumstances, that is not always the case. A French court ruled earlier this year that a French music royalty collection society did not breach data protection law when using IP addresses and that the addresses were not personal data because…

Swiss parliament approves downloading for ‘personal use’.
Copyright , Internet / November 2007
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Internet By Marc P Holmes Just as Germany makes copying for personal use illegal, Heise have reported that the Swiss Parliament has passed new federal legislation dealing with the sharing of ‘copyright and related intellectual property rights’ over the internet. The effect of this legislation is that, providing files shared are for ‘personal use’, the act of making a copy by downloading will not be illegal. In addition, the Act stresses that ‘access and copy-protection measures must not be circumvented’, which suggests that only files uploaded and shared by the author would conform to this definition. It would seem that over seven years since the explosion of Napster and others, during which time ‘filesharing’ and ‘downloading’ have become popular euphemisms for the mass breach of copyright, legislators still insist on buying into two fallacies: Firstly, that they can actively encourage a watertight, author-endorsed sharing of works without the risk of all sorts of other files being shared via the same platform without the author’s consent, and secondly that by legislating a national policy on filesharing, this somehow excludes (or simply does not take into account) all content being downloaded by fellow countrymen originating from a myriad of different international…

Swiss implement MP3 levy
Copyright / August 2007
Canada
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Technology A court ruling in Switzerland will now mean consumers in the country will have to pay a tax on digital music devices such as iPods and MP3 players, as well as some types of audio/video recorders. The one-off tax ranges in price from SFr30-90 ($25-75): The Federal Court rejected consumer complaints about the tax which will be levied by Swiss collection society SUISA. http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/detail/Judges_confirm_tax_on_digital_music_players.html?siteSect=105&sid=8013457&cKey=1184162841000  Canada is to implement an ‘iPod’ tax after a decision by the Copyright Board of Canada http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070720-copyright-board-of-canada-gives-thumbs-up-to-ipod-tax.html

eDonkey server siezed
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / March 2006
Belgium
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels Swiss and Belgian authorities have closed down Razorback 2 which is seen as the biggest index server on the eDonkey P2P network. The server’s operator was arrested in his home in Switzerland while the server itself was seized at an Internet hosting centre close to Brussels. There are said to be somewhere between 100 and 200 other index servers on the network, but the closing down of Razorback 2 has been taken as a significant coup. Razorback 2 had an estimated 1.3M simultaneous users with around 170M files being traded via it. Across the whole of eDonkey there were an estimated 3M users. John Kennedy of IFPI said of the raids: “This is a very significant breakthrough in the fight against internet piracy internationally, removing one of the biggest and most well-known sources of illegal music files on the internet. This is an excellent example of good cooperation between law enforcement agencies across borders and among the copyright industries in addressing the problem worldwide”. www.ifpi.org

Is a new Universal Data Protection Law possible?
Internet , Privacy / November 2005
Switzerland

PRIVACY Internet Earlier this month, Privacy Commissioners from forty countries met in Switzerland for the 27th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC). The Commissioners adopted a declaration in which they agreed to collaborate with governments and international organizations for the development of a universal convention for the protection of personal data. The various universal data protective principles the Commissioners agreed to promote are set out in the declaration and in its written declaration, the ICDPPC appealed to the United Nations to prepare a legal binding instrument identifying the rights of data protection and privacy as enforceable human rights. To review a copy of the two resolutions and declaration, see: http://makeashorterlink.com/?N20741FDB http://makeashorterlink.com/?O61725FDB http://makeashorterlink.com/?W23712FDB From a summary by Lenni Carreiro in E-Tips: E-Tips is a publication of Deeth Williams Wall and edited by Richard Potter QC. To review past issues of the E-TIPS® newsletter, visit:http://www.dww.com/newsletter/archive.html