Posted in Copyrights US Federal Law

House Judiciary Committee Copyright Law Review

Written by Sydney White

The House Judiciary Committee is continuing its ongoing review of copyright issues that began in 2013. The Committee has held over 20 hearings on issues such as secondary liability, Notice and Take Down, and royalties. Most recently, the Committee kicked-off a “listening tour” with a roundtable discussion in Nashville, Tennessee on September 22nd, which included song writers and other music industry rights-holders, primarily focusing on royalty related issues.

The Committee also held meetings on November 9 in Silicon Valley and November 10 in Los Angeles. The goal of the tour is to hear from stakeholders that don’t have a Washington presence although the LA session drew heavy participation from rights holders in the film and TV industry as well as Internet intermediaries. Participants were asked to weigh in on Notice and Take Down and safe harbor issues. The film and other content industry representatives highlighted the use of search engines to find pirated content. The Silicon Valley session focused on more on tech company specific issues including those confronting start-ups.

Although it is unclear what copyright related bills the Committee will be moving, Chairman Goodlatte has indicated his interest in introducing a bill to reposition and restructure the Copyright Office later this year. He has also said encouragingly that if the Committee eventually moves a bill, it must reflect a consensus between the content industry and intermediaries including search engines, website operators, and ISPs.

Posted in Technology and Commercial Telecoms

EUROPE: New Public Consultation on the Evaluation of the Legal and Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications Networks and Services

By Florence Guthfreund-Roland & Mathilde Hallé

On September, 11th 2015, the European Commission launched a new public consultation on the evaluation of the legal and regulatory framework for the electronic communications sector.

This consultation follows the Commission’s communication on the “Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe” dated May, 6th 2015, according to which the Commission’s target is to establish “a single market in order to adapt electronic communications to the digital revolution”. Indeed, the field of electronic communications has been subject to significant evolutions over the last decades characterized especially by the development of fiber to the detriment of copper, by the convergence of fixed and mobile networks, by the apparition of new technologies such as cloud services or big data and finally by a consistent reduction of revenues for telecommunication groups.

In order to foster the development of this “Digital Single Market”, three main targets, encompassing 16 actions to be achieved by European institutions by the end of 2016, have been identified by the Commission:
1. Ensuring a better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe;
2. Creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and services to flourish; and
3. Maximizing the growth potential of the European digital economy.

To implement the second target, the Commission has notably planned a review of the current legal framework for the sector. For that purpose, a “Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme” (REFIT), designed to assess the efficiency of the current European legal framework for the telecom sector, will be undertaken to determine whether or not the current framework sets the conditions for digital networks and services to flourish.

The scope of the consultation will therefore concern most of the European legislation in force in the field of electronic communications, usually referred to as the “Telecom Package”, and including mainly:
• Directive No. 2002/21/EC dated March 7th, 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, as amended by Directive No.2009/140 and Regulation No. 544/2009;
• Directive No. 2002/20/EC dated March 7th, 2002 on the authorization of electronic communications networks and services, as amended by No. Directive 2009/140;
• Directive No. 2002/19/EC dated March 7th, 2002 on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities, as amended by Directive No. 2009/140;
• Directive No. 2002/22/EC dated March 7th, 2002 on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communication networks and services; and
• Regulation No. 1211/2009 dated November 25th, 2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office.

The aim of the consultation is first to assess the current European legal framework in light of the Commission’s “Better Regulation Guidelines” designed to ensure the quality of regulations. The consultation will also allow to gather opinions and possibly recommendations on current issues affecting the telecom sector, to give the Commission insights on new market and technological evolutions and on the stakeholders’ current concerns for the development of their operations.

The European Commission has published an online survey to enable any stakeholders, such as e.g., electronic communications operators or consumers associations, to participate. The survey will remain open until December 7th, 2015. According to the Commission website, a public summary report of the consultation should be made available one month after closing of the survey.

For any further information, please contact Florence Guthfreund-Roland ( or Mathilde Hallé (

Posted in Cross-Border Transfers EU Data Protection International Privacy Privacy and Data Security

Safe Harbor: European Commission issues guidance to clarify the EU-US data transfer conundrum

On 6 November 2015, the European Commission issued guidance in the form of a Communication on the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US following the Schrems Judgment at the beginning of October (for information on the Judgment, see DLA Piper’s Privacy Matters blog post). Continue Reading

Posted in Cross-Border Transfers EU Data Protection International Privacy Privacy and Data Security

EUROPE – UNITED STATES: 10 practical proposals for bridging the US-EU data privacy ocean


Nineteen renowned privacy experts from the US and the EU, amongst them DLA Piper’s Patrick Van Eecke, have developed ten practical proposals to increase the transatlantic level of protection of personal data.

Most proposals can be implemented within existing different legal systems and are applicable worldwide. It concerns pragmatic bridges that benefit people, companies, governments and supervisory authorities. Continue Reading

Posted in Patents US Federal Law

International Patent Exhaustion – A Happy or Unhappy New Year?

Written by Mark Lehberg

On October 2, 2015 the full Federal Circuit heard oral arguments regarding whether overseas sale of a product exhausts the patent owner’s right to assert its U.S. patent rights with respect to that product when resold in the United States.  A decision will likely arrive in January or early February, 2016.  For some, it might be a Happy New Year, and for others, not so much.  The case is Lexmark International v. Impression Products. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia Privacy


Written by Louise Crawford

Earlier this week, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) ordered seven credit card issuers to suspend issuing cards with contactless payment functions, in light of identified security weaknesses.

The technology used to facilitate contactless payment devices is known as Near Field Communication (NFC). Cards that contain an NFC chip can be used to pay for low value goods and services (usually under HK$ 1,000) by waving the credit card close to the reader, without the need to enter a PIN or provide a signature. As well as the obvious risk of cards being used with relative ease by thieves, the technology may also pose a data security threat. In particular, tests have revealed that certain mobile apps can be used to instantly obtain data such as credit card number, expiry date and even the cardholder’s name. Continue Reading

Posted in International Privacy

GERMANY: New Data Retention Act – Retention Obligations for Telecommunications and Internet Access Service Providers

Written by Dr. Jan Geert Meents, Dr. Thomas Jansen and Dr. Reka Hatala

Today the German Bundestag passed a highly disputed law on the retention of personal data. 404 out of 559 MEPs voted for the bill pursuant to which German providers of publicly available telecommunication and internet access services must store call detail records (CDR) for a period of ten weeks irrespective of any suspicious facts. In case of text messages not only CDRs but also the content of the text messages will be saved for technical reasons. Also, IP addresses and port numbers are to be saved. Continue Reading