19 mai 2015

The XV Nordic Copyright Symposium

After three eventfull copyright years, the Nordic Copyright Symposium convened again. Under the title "Nordic Copyright in a Cross-border Virtual World: The Future of National and Regional Copyright within Europe", this symposium's host organisation, the Icelandic Copyright Society, invited academics and practitioners from May 6th to May 8th to Harpa, Reykjavik. In addition to the stunningly beautiful setting, the symposium offered a program packed with some of the most important copyright-related developments in the Nordics (and more and more heavily influenced by the EU).

Harpa, Reykjavik
Following a welcome reception, the symposium formally kicked off with an opening speech by the Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Illugi Gunnars­son.

The first session was devoted to providing a short overview of the multiple legislative and judicial developments related to copy­right in the Nordic countries since the last symposium in 2012. The speakers' slides with detailed information can be found here: Erla S. Árnadóttir (Iceland), Astri Lund (Norway), Anders Olin (Sweden), Peter Schønning (Denmark), and Jukka Liedes (Finland).

The Nordic-catchup was followed by the second session, which dealt with the question whether the CJEU’s recent findings on digital exhaustion and the question on linking narrow or stretch the borders of basic copyright in the Nordic countries. 

Main speaker Ole-Andreas Rognstad (Norway) noted that the recent case law undoubtedly has some repercussions on Nordic law with a tendency to narrow down the scope of the exclusive rights and a situation that entails some ambiguity. Co-speaker Jan Rosén (Sweden) pointed inter alia to the argument that the new public criterion represents an exhaustion, "carve out", of the communication to the public right. Finally, Kriistina Harenko (Finland) reflected on the question whether licensing does matter in this context. 

In Session 3 on service providers in the Nordic countries and copyright, the experience from recent case law, communication between right holders and ISPs as well as legislation and future developments was on the table. Main speaker Clement Salung Peter­sen (Denmark) looked at notice-and-action procedures and injunctive relief against service providers. Co-speakers Rune Opdahl (Norway) and Daniel Westman (Sweden) presented recent developments and perspectives from their respective countries. 

Much of Nordic copyright is already influenced by EU developments and the first day of the symposium concluded with a session on future legal changes in the Nordic countries in the light of EU developments, mainly looking at exceptions and limitations, balancing of interests and cross-border use.

Main speakers Rán Tryggvadóttir (Iceland) and co-speakers Martin Gormsen (Denmark), Rainer Oesch (Finland) and Helene Hillerström Miksche (Sweden) covered the review of EU copyright rules in light of the recent consultation, private copying and cloud services, as well as exceptions and cross-border use.

Copyright on Iceland comes with a beautiful view
Finally, all of Friday morning was devoted to the comprehensive Directive 2014/26/EU on collective management and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use.

The Directive has to be transposed into national law by April 2016 and Johan Axhamn (Sweden) opened with some first-hand insights in the ongoing implementation work in Sweden (the draft/proposal can be found here).

Co-speaker Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir (Iceland) provided a perspective on the challenges for small CMOs, while Cathrine Nagell (Norway) pointed towards the most important rules for CMOs in Norway. Sebastian Schwemer (yours truly; Denmark) provided an overview on the developments leading up to the codification and thoughts on the implementation in the Danish context. Martti Kivistö (Finland) concluded the final session with an overview on the new licensing regime and the developments it facilitated in the market.

The conference proceedings will also be documented in NIR Issue 6/2015. The next Nordic Copyright Symposium will already take place in 2017 - on invitation by Jukka Liedes, chairman of the Finnish Copyright Society, in Helsinki.

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