Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

The High Court has ruled that Google did not have “actual knowledge” of defamatory material where complaints were not “sufficiently precise and well substantiated”.

On 25 November 2011 the High Court ruled in favour of Google; setting aside an order that permitted the US company to be served out of the jurisdiction in defamation proceedings. The Court ruled that the claimant, former UK intelligence adviser Andrea Davison, had failed to show a real and substantial tort within the jurisdiction or that Google had actual knowledge of unlawful activity on the blog that it hosted.


Continue Reading UK: High Court rules that Google is not liable in blog defamation case

by Patrick Van Eecke, Cameron Craig and Jim Halpert

Viviane Reding, European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, has announced the long-awaited Proposal for a new Data Protection Regulation. 

The Proposal, announced December 6, has now entered into inter-service consultation with other Commission Directorates-General, after which the text will be considered by the Parliament and the Council, who may make significant changes. 

The Regulation would repeal the current Data Protection Directive 95/46. It is expected to become law in two to three years. 


Continue Reading FIRST INSIGHT INTO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S PROPOSAL FOR A NEW EU DATA PROTECTION LAW

By Siân Croxon, Partner, DLA Piper UK

The CJEU has provided some clarification of the law on when EU customs officials can seize counterfeit goods that are merely in transit through the EU. 

The story began in 2008 when a consignment of Nokia branded mobile phones arrived in Heathrow in transit from China to Colombia.  The customs officer was suspicious and sent a sample to Nokia for inspection which duly revealed that the phones were indeed counterfeit.


Continue Reading “Just passing through sir or really stopping off?” – the CJEU rules on counterfeit goods in transit

DLA PIPER IPT ALERT

By Ruth Hoy and Claire Bennett

Advocate General Bot delivered his Opinion in SAS Institute Inc. -v- World Programming Ltd on 29 November 2011.  The judgment of the full Chamber of the CJEU is not expected until sometime in 2012, and it is not yet known whether the Court will follow his Opinion.  In the meantime, the Opinion gives some useful insight for programmers who are trying to create computer programs that are interoperable with programs of others and studying and testing the functionality of programs.

Advocate General Bot delivered his Opinion in SAS Institute Inc. -v- World Programming Ltd on 29 November 2011.  The judgment of the full Chamber of the CJEU is not expected until sometime in 2012, and it is not yet known whether the Court will follow his Opinion.  In the meantime, the Opinion gives some useful insight for programmers who are trying to create computer programs that are interoperable with programs of others and studying and testing the functionality of programs.


Continue Reading SAS Institute Inc. -v- World Programming Ltd

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

A Joint Committee of MPs and peers from the House of Commons and House of Lords (“the Committee”) has issued a report on the Draft Defamation Bill (“the Bill”), approving many of the Government’s proposals but also recommending further changes that should be made to libel laws.

The unanimously-agreed report was published on 19 October 2011. In considering the Bill, which was published in March 2011 (please see the article in our April 2011 issue of Media Intelligence here), the Committee established the following core principles to act as a guide in developing their recommendations:


Continue Reading Libel reform committee proposes sweeping changes to the UK’s libel laws

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) BT and TalkTalk have been granted permission to appeal against the High Court’s April 2011 ruling in their judicial review proceedings in relation to the Digital Economy Act.

The Digital Economy Act (“the Act”) was passed by the Government in April 2010 with a view to protect creative industries such as music and film-making by introducing measures to tackle online copyright infringement. Under the Act, ISPs would be compelled to take an active role against pirates by, for example, sending out warning letters to alleged illegal downloaders.
BT and TalkTalk, two of the UK’s largest ISPs, brought a judicial review of the Act in April 2011, claiming that the measures to tackle online copyright infringement were not only disproportionate but were also not compliant with EU law. However, the High Court ruled in favour of the Government, recognising the measures as both lawful and proportionate (please see the article in our April 2011 issue of Media Intelligence here).
After failing to obtain permission to appeal against the decision in June 2011, BT and TalkTalk finally succeeded on 7 October 2011. Lord Justice Lewison granted leave to appeal on four of the five grounds addressed in the initial case. The ISPs argue that the Act is not compliant with the following European Directives: the Technical Standards Directive, the Authorisation Directive, the E-Commerce Directive and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive. The ISPs accepted the High Court’s opinion that there is a very high threshold of proving disproportionality and therefore have not sought appeal on their original claim that the act “represents a disproportionate interference with the rights of internet service providers, subscribers and internet users and with the concept of freedom of expression”.
The hearing at the Court of Appeal is likely to be held next year, meaning the full implementation of the Act is likely to be further delayed. BT’s challenge to the Act coincides with separate action taken by Hollywood studios under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, under which BT has been ordered to block access to a website that facilitates online infringement of copyright (please refer to the next item in this newsletter here).


Continue Reading BT and TalkTalk granted leave to appeal Digital Economy Act decision

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

Ate My Heart Inc v (1) Mind Candy Ltd (2) Moshi Music Ltd (2011) – interim junction granted against online children’s game company and its subsidiary
The High Court has granted an interim injunction preventing the promotion of an animated character known as “Lady Goo Goo” and its associated song due to the risk that the public would confuse it with the music artist Lady Gaga and her associated trademark.
The High Court proceedings were brought by the applicant following the attempted release of “The Moshi Song” by Moshi Music, a new division of the children’s social networking site Moshi Monsters. The song had already been posted on YouTube and Moshi Music planned to release it as a single on iTunes. The online computer game also features an animated cartoon baby known as “Lady Goo Goo” which was arguably a visible representative of Lady Gaga. The applicant argued that there had been infringement of its LADY GAGA trade mark.
The applicant argued that there was a risk that consumers might consider “Lady Goo Goo” to have originated from the same source as, or a source economically linked to, Lady Gaga. This argument was strengthened by the fact that users had published blog comments suggesting they were confused as to whether there was a connection.
The factors relevant for the assessment as to whether or not there was a risk of confusion were as follows:

Ate My Heart Inc v (1) Mind Candy Ltd (2) Moshi Music Ltd (2011) – interim junction granted against online children’s game company and its subsidiary

The High Court has granted an interim injunction preventing the promotion of an animated character known as “Lady Goo Goo” and its associated song due to the risk that the public would confuse it with the music artist Lady Gaga and her associated trademark.


Continue Reading “Goo Goo” and “Gaga”

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has stated that search engines and ISPs should “make life more difficult” for sites breaching copyright laws.
Whilst detailing his vision of a new Communications Act at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, reiterated the Government’s support of the Hargreaves proposal to set up a new Digital Copyright Exchange.

The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has stated that search engines and ISPs should “make life more difficult” for sites breaching copyright laws.

Whilst detailing his vision of a new Communications Act at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, reiterated the Government’s support of the Hargreaves proposal to set up a new Digital Copyright Exchange.


Continue Reading Google pressed to block copyright-infringing websites

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

The European Commission has issued a report reviewing how Member States are implementing EU Recommendations ensuring that children can enjoy the digital world confidently and safely, finding that measures taken so far have been insufficient overall.

On 13 September 2011 the Commission adopted a Report, ‘Protecting Children in the Digital World’, analysing the implementation by Member States of the 1998 and 2006 EU Recommendations on the protection of minors in the digital world.

On 13 September 2011 the Commission adopted a Report, ‘Protecting Children in the Digital World’, analysing the implementation by Member States of the 1998 and 2006 EU Recommendations on the protection of minors in the digital world.


Continue Reading Digital Agenda: further action required to safeguard children online