1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 18 February 2011

The fundamental freedom of furnishings

The ECJ has received a copyright-law reference from Germany’s Bundesgerichtshof, the IPO reports. Case C-5/11 – Titus Alexander Jochen Donner (?) – is a dispute about furnishings that are copyright-protected in Germany and sold to German customers, but manufactured and distributed from Italy. The Court has been asked for a preliminary ruling on Article 4(1) of the Copyright Directive, namely: ‘Member States shall provide for authors, in respect of the original of their works or of copies thereof, the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any form of distribution to the public by sale or otherwise.’

The question:

“Are Articles 34 and 36 TFEU governing the free movement of goods to be interpreted as precluding the criminal offence of aiding and abetting the prohibited distribution of copyright-protected works resulting from the application of national criminal law where, on a cross-border sale of a work that is copyright protected in Germany
—that work is taken to Germany from a Member State of the European Union and de facto power of disposal thereof is transferred in Germany,
—but the transfer of ownership took place in the other Member State in which copyright protection for the work did not exist or was unenforceable?”

Comments are requested by 24 February. After sitting down to watch Copyright v Freedom to Provide Services in the decoder card cases, here comes Copyright v Free Movement of Goods.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't we know the answer to that - "No" - Coditel -v- Debauve?

I remember arguing decades ago - maybe in 1988 - that transmissions would be more logically treated as intangible goods.

Richard McD. Bridge