- In brief: Digital production of out of print books requires prior consent (Soulier and Doke)
- Original news
- What should IP & IT lawyers take note of?
- What does this mean for the future of UK ECL schemes?
- What was this case about?
- What did the court decide?
IP & IT analysis: This case was heard as a request for a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the lawfulness of French legislative instruments (Decree No 2013–182 of 27 February 2013, implementing Articles L.134–1 to L.134–9 of the French Intellectual Property Code and relating to the digital exploitation of out-of-print twentieth century books) that permitted authorised collecting societies to publish, in digital format, out of print twentieth century literary works subject to there being a requirement that the books proposed to be published in accordance with those rules. The legislation in question did provide that author of the work could expressly object to the publication within that 6 month period but if no such objection was received then they were deemed to have given implied consent to such publication. The authors were permitted to withdraw the collecting society’s accrued right to authorise the reproduction and publication of their work but again this was subject to a formal notification requirement. The Applicants sought the annulment of Decree 2013–182 on the grounds that it was incompatible with art 2, 3 and 5 of the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29/EU, which granted the authors of literary works the exclusive right to reproduce and publish such works. Dr Tim Sampson, barrister at Lamb Chambers, considers the case of Soulier and Doke.
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