Union Des Associations Européennes De Football (UEFA), whose members include 55 national football associations, organises some of the most famous and prestigious football competitions in Europe. Recently, UEFA obtained an injunction against the UK's main retail internet service providers. As a substitute for paid subscriptions to sport packages through Sky, BT and others, some football fans are instead using set-top box devices such as Kodi to connect directly to streaming servers via their IP addresses. A survey for the BBC found that 47% of adults have watched a football match through an illegal provider at least once, with 36% streaming matches at least once per month. Infringement in this way is on the rise for two key reasons. Firstly, an increasing proportion of UK consumers mistakenly believe using devices to access unauthorised streams is lawful. Secondly, most people know they personally won't face charges for pirating illegal streams. UEFA therefore applied for an injunction against the internet companies themselves, relying on the principle of "online intermediary liability." Online intermediaries are companies which provide the infrastructure and data storage to facilitate transactions over the internet. Examples of intermediaries are search engines, web hosts, and internet access and service providers ("ISPs"). Rather than go after private users, copyright holders - such as UEFA, movie stuidos and record labels - consider corporate intermediaries to be more viable targets for lawsuits. Accordingly, if online intermediaries have actual knowledge of the copyright infringement, they may be liable for the illegal behaviour of their customers and viewers.
Services of intermediaries may increasingly be used by third parties for infringing activities. In many cases such intermediaries are best placed to bring such infringing activities to an end. — Recital 59, Information Society Directive (2001/29/EC)
Before I started law school, I spoke to a lawyer at Universal Music about licensing, copyright, and other fascets of law pertaining to the music industry. Since becoming a lawyer myself, I'm even more fascinated by the ways in which commercial contracts, digital strategy, artists' rights and expression interact with and shape each other: Facebook's new global, multi-year agreements with Universal and Sony Music are perfect examples of such dynamism. Facebook first inked a deal with Universal Music in late December 2017. The deal with Sony, the largest music publisher in the world, was announced on 9 January. These deals allow Facebook and Instagram users to upload homemade video clips containing songs owned by Universal or Sony, without generating a takedown notice.
Imagine you’re an author trying to get your screenplay made into a film, but despite giving Miramax Studios and Working Title copies of your script, you have no luck. Ten years later, you discover the theatrical trailer for an upcoming movie starring Michael Fassbinder, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weiss. Your heart sinks as you realise that your story has been stolen. What do you do? If you’re Joseph Nobile, you call a lawyer and sue Hollywood for copyright infringement.
In 2012, Margot Watts (writing as M.L. Stedman) published The Light Between Oceans, a novel about a lighthouse keeper and his wife, and their desperate longing for a child. Set primarily in 1920s Australia, Tom and Isabel find an infant washed ashore in a lifeboat after a storm, together with the corpse of the baby’s father. The novel explores the psychological and moral consequences of the couple's choice to raise the baby as their own.
Reviews are powerful marketing tools. From making dinner reservations to buying a new pair of shoes, I very rarely part with my hard-earned cash before checking out the ratings and comments online. I also follow quite a few restaurants, designers, photographers, and fitness bloggers on Facebook, and often see people leave reviews there, too. But what can a business actually do with those comments? And if you leave a review on a company's Facebook page, what are your rights over what you’ve written?
For my final essay on the GDL (the law conversion course here in England), I chose to write on intellectual property law. I argued that legal uncertainty and lack of proper enforcement strategies results in fragmentation across the Member States. I earned a Distinction (75% UK) on the paper. This essay (18 pages, double spaced) includes a brief synopsis of intellectual property right basics, followed by a justification of the European Union’s competency to legislate in this area. The third section contextualises the problem of copyright infringement on the internet, with a specific focus on online intermediary liability.