Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newspaper articles not creative enough. An issue for the CJEU?

Kluwer Copyright blog just published my article about ECOPRESS v. STORIN, which denied copyright protection on newspaper articles (reported by IPKat here). In article, I outline the background of the case, give some comments on compatibility with last European cases and mention that our European Information Society Institute, is now preparing amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court with ambition to explain him recent judicial harmonization of originality by CJEU. 

In fact, the court assessed only three articles submitted as evidence, and of course, did not deny copyright protection in general. On the other hand, it quite strictly applied the classical Slovak, and formerly Czecho-Slovak, doctrine of originality. ECOPRESS v. STORIN is therefore a case about different originality standards and their testing.
The courts of both instances rejected existence of any copyright protection in submitted articles (see them:  1,2,3) and thus dismissed the action. Although, the decision is already legally binding, the plaintiff asked the Supreme Court for an appellate review, and also submitted petition to the Constitutional Court.
Both courts applied the classical Slovak copyright threshold of originality, by which a work has to be a ‘unique outcome of a creative mind’ of the author in order to be eligible for copyright protection.
Today, looking at judicial activism of the Court of Justice EU, it is however questionable, whether this national test for originality, is still compatible with notion of ‘originality’ as employed by the CJEU for works under Article 2(a) of Directive 2001/29.

For the entire article please click here. Your comments are welcomed.

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