Recent developments

Legal developments

Have there been any notable recent legal developments regarding copyright in your jurisdiction, including any regulatory changes and recent case law?

Noteworthy legal developments in Belgium include the adoption of:

  • the Act of June 16 2016 modifying the Belgian Code on Economic Law to include ‘freedom of panorama freedom, which allows under Belgian law:
    • to photograph all visual, graphic and architectural works that are intended to be permanently located in a public place, even if the general subject of the photograph is the protected work itself; and
    • to communicate such images without the authorisation of the author of the work concerned (Article XI.190, 2/1°);
  • the Act of June 8 2017 transposing into Belgian law the EU Collective Management of Copyright Directive (2014/26/EU); and
  • the Act of December 22 2016 amending certain provisions in Book XI of the Code on Economic Law, which was intended, among other things, to make Belgian legislation compliant with the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Hewlett-Packard Belgium SPRL v Reprobel SCRL (C-572/13, November 12 2015).

In addition, an early draft of an act on the enforcement of copyright infringements on the Internet is being discussed within the Council for Intellectual Property (part of the Federal Public Service Economy). The text is not yet publicly available, but some of its core points have already been divulged. Essentially, the pre-draft aims to introduce expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings) that can be unilaterally requested against a wide range of different online intermediaries.

Case law

Copyright litigation and, thus, case law abound. Examples at the highest level of the courts include:

  • the Supreme Court decision in Jean Cassegrain sas/Calem bvba on originality (of the Longchamps Le Pliage handbag) (February 17 2017, AR C.15.0144.N); and
  • the Supreme Court decision in Coditel/Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques on the qualification of television broadcasts via ‘direct injection’ (September 30 2016, R C.14.0045.N, C.14.0217.N, R C.14.0045.N, C.14.0217.N) (see also ECJ decision in SBS Belgium NV v Belgische Vereniging van Auteurs, Componisten en Uitgevers (SABAM), C-325/14, November 15 2015).

Technological developments

Have there been any notable technological advances or developments to assist copyright owners in protecting and enforcing their rights?

The emergence of Permission Machine, a private company that assists photographers and press agencies in managing and enforcing their rights online, is worth noting. 

Legal framework

Domestic law

What is the primary legislation governing copyright in your jurisdiction?

Title 5 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law of February 28 2013. 

International law

Is your jurisdiction a party to any international agreements relating to copyright?

Yes, the most important are:

  • the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as amended on September 28 1979;
  • the Universal Copyright Convention of September 6 1952;
  • the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Copyright Treaty of December 20 1996;
  • the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations of October 26 1961;
  • the Brussels or Satellites Convention of May 21 1974, which provides for the obligation of each contracting state to take adequate measures to prevent the unauthorised distribution in or from its territory of any programme-carrying signal transmitted by satellite; and
  • the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty of December 20 1996.

Online and digital regulation

Are there any legal provisions specifically covering digital and online content?

Besides the provisions on internet service provider (ISP) liability (implementing the E-commerce Directive (2000/31/EC)), there are specific provisions on the multi-territorial licensing of online rights concerning musical works for online use (implementing the Collective Management of Copyright Directive (2014/26/EU)).

A pre-draft of an act on enforcement of online copyright infringements, which aims to put in place expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings) against a wide range of online intermediaries, is currently under discussion within the Council for Intellectual Property (part of the Federal Public Service Economy).

Government authorities

Are any government authorities charged with regulating and enforcing copyright law?

Yes, the Federal Public Service Economy.

Protection and ownership

Copyrightable works

What works are eligible for copyright protection in your jurisdiction?

Copyright protection is reserved for works that are ‘copyrightable’ and that meet the originality requirement.

Belgian copyright law does not define or enumerate the types of work that are eligible for copyright protection (copyrightable). Hence, reference can be made to Article 2(1) of the Berne Convention, for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which refers to ‘literary and artistic works’ as including:

every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and other writings; lectures, addresses, sermons and other works of the same nature; dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; musical compositions with or without words; cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography; photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science.

It is generally accepted by case law and legal scholars that copyright protection is reserved for works that have been expressed in a concrete form (whether tangible or intangible) and thus cannot be awarded to mere ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such (see also Article 2(1) of the Berne Convention, read in conjunction with Article 2 of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Copyright Treaty).

Although Belgian law does not define ‘originality’ either, several references are made to “the author’s own intellectual creation” in relation to photographs, databases and software. 

It follows from the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) landmark judgment in the Infopaq case that the notion of originality must be given an autonomous and uniform interpretation throughout the European Union as meaning “its author’s own intellectual creation” (C‑5/08, Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening, July 16 2009, § 37).

The ECJ developed the concept by stating that an intellectual creation is an author’s own “if it reflects the author’s personality”. That will be the case “if the author was able to express his creative abilities in the production of the work by making free and creative choices”, “stamp[ing] the work created with his ‘personal touch’” (“his personality”) (C‑145/10, Painer v Standard VerlagsGmbH, December 1 2011, § 88-89, 92 and 94).   

The Belgian courts apply this ECJ case law quite consistently.  

Are there any special provisions for the protection of non-artistic works (eg, software and databases)?

The Belgian Code on Economic Law does indeed provide special provisions for non-artistic works such as software (Book XI, Title 6), sui generis databases (Book XI, Title 7) and semiconductor topographies (Book XI, Title 8).

Are any works explicitly excluded from copyright protection?

Yes. Article XI.172 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law excludes from protection official government acts. This article also states that speeches made in deliberative assemblies, in public hearings of the courts or in political meetings may be freely reproduced and communicated to the public, but that the author alone has the right to publish these speeches separately.  

Related IP rights

Can copyrightable works be protected by other IP rights (eg, trademarks and designs)?

It is possible to cumulate copyright, design, trademark and patent protection for one work.

The possibility and the extent of such cumulation will depend on the nature of the object and the fulfilment of the legal requirements for (each of) the cumulated regimes. In other words, cumulation is possible if and to the extent that all the legal requirements for the application of the different types of protection are (individually) met.

Regarding copyright and (registered) design protection, it should be noted that cumulation is not only allowed but in fact compulsory in Belgium under statute and EU case law (see Recital 8 of the Community Designs Directive (98/71/EC), Article 17 of the Community Designs Regulation (6/2002) and the ECJ decision in Flos SpA/ Semeraro Casa e Famiglia SpA (C-168/09, January 27 2011).

IP rights can also be cumulated with protection under unfair competition law (Cass May 29 2009, Arr Cass 2009, 1496).

An IP infringement will usually automatically amount to an act of unfair competition, while the rules on unfair competition can also be used as a ‘safety net’ against the copying of objects that are not protected by IP law.

In this respect, the Supreme Court has clarified that copying is not prohibited in itself by unfair competition law. Copying can be illegitimate under unfair competition law only if it is accompanied by “attended circumstances” contrary to fair market practices (Cass May 29 2009, Arr Cass 2009, 1496). 

Establishment of rights, registration and deposit

Establishment of rights

How is copyright established in your jurisdiction? Is registration, deposit or any other formality required?

Protection by copyright law does not require registration. This is not explicitly stated in Belgian copyright legislation (the Belgian Code on Economic Law), but follows from Article 5(2) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which provides that the enjoyment and the exercise of copyright shall not be subject to any formality. Copyright will thus come into existence by and as of the mere creation of the work, as long as that the work is copyrightable and that it meets the originality requirement.

Registration and deposit – procedure and effects

What is the procedure for copyright registration and deposit (whether mandatory or voluntary)?

Since registration and/or deposit are not required for establishing copyright, there is no statutory/mandatory procedure for doing so.

There are some voluntary initiatives providing the option of depositing a work – for instance, I-Depot organised by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property and OnlineDepot offered by SABAM, a copyright collecting society. Alternatively, an author can also deposit his or her work with a notary.

If voluntary, what are the benefits of registration/deposit?

As registration or deposit does not create any copyright in itself, the most important advantage of either is that it can procure a date of creation, and/or that it can help asserting ownership in a work.

Ownership

Eligibility

Who may own copyright in a work?

Article XI.170 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law states that copyright belongs from the start to the natural person who has created the work. Other persons (legal or natural) may come into possession of (the economic) copyrights as a result of a transfer.

Joint and collective ownership

What rules and restrictions govern the joint or collective ownership of a copyright work?

Article XI.168 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law states that when copyright is indivisible, exercise of the right shall be governed by agreement. In the absence of an agreement, none of the authors may exercise the right in isolation, except following a court decision in the event of disagreement. However, each author may take action, on his or her own behalf and without the intervention of the other authors, against any infringement of copyright, and may claim damages on his or her own behalf. A judge may, at any time, give the authorisation to publish a work subject to the measures that he or she deems necessary; he or she may order, at the request of the author who opposes the publication, that the author should not participate in either the costs or in the profits of the exploitation, or that the author’s name should not be shown on the work.

Article XI.169 of the Code on Economic Law states that when work has been created by two or more persons and in which the individual contribution of each of the authors can be clearly identified, those authors may not, unless otherwise agreed, collaborate with other persons regarding that work. The authors do, however, have the right to exploit their contribution separately, provided that this exploitation does not endanger the mutual work.

Employee and commissioned work

What rules and restrictions govern the ownership of copyright in a work created in the course of employment (including works by employees and commissioned works by independent contractors)?

Under Belgian law the employee or the author of a commissioned work will always be the initial holder of the copyrights in the works created in the framework of his or her employment or the assignment. The rights are not automatically assigned.

The employer can acquire the rights by expressly providing for an assignment in writing. The same applies for the person who commissioned a work on condition that this person is active in a non-cultural sector or in advertising. Article XI.167 §3 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law imposes a looser regime for these assignments by declaring inapplicable certain specific obligations that must be respected in the framework of regular assignments.

Other rules apply to, among other things, software and databases. The rights in these types of work are presumed to be held by the employer until the contrary is proven.

Exercise of rights

Owners’ rights

What rights are afforded to copyright owners (including rights to use and limit the use of the copyrighted work)?

The author essentially receives two types of exclusive right: economic rights (reproduction, including adaptation and translation, communication to the public, distribution, renting and lending; a resale right for visual artists) and moral rights (divulgation, integrity and paternity).

Are there any limits or restrictions on the rights holder’s exercise of its rights, including any fair use allowances and parody exceptions?

There are numerous exceptions and limitations to the economic rights, which can be subdivided into five major categories:

  • exceptions and limitations for educational and scientific purposes (citations, anthologies, communications to the public in the framework of educational activities, reproductions and communications to the public as an illustration for education or scientific research, reprography, use in public exams);
  • exceptions and limitations for libraries, museums and archives (consultations via terminals in libraries or museums, copying for preserving cultural and scientific patrimony, reprography by library visitors, use of ‘orphan’ works);
  • exceptions and limitations for private copying (communications in the family circle, private copying and reprography for private use);
  • exceptions and limitations for the use of information (citations for illustrative purposes, reproductions by broadcasters of their own broadcasts, reproductions of works in public spaces, caricature, parody and pastiche, news reporting); and
  • other exceptions and limitations (of disabled persons, hospitals, prisons, youth and disabled persons institutions, promotion for public exhibitions and sales, temporary reproductions in the digital environment, panorama freedom).     

Another exception/limitation worth noting is the exhaustion of the distribution right after the first sale of a product in the territory of the European Union or the European Economic Area by the author or with the author’s consent.

Ancillary rights

What ancillary or neighbouring rights arise in relation to copyright (if any)? Are there any rules or restrictions on their exercise?

Belgian copyright law provides for neighbouring rights for performing artists, producers of phonograms, producers of audio-visual works and broadcasters.

Neighbouring rights confer rights on the holders that are very similar to those conferred on the holders of copyright – that is, economic rights and moral rights. The exceptions provided to these rights are similar to those of copyright.

Article XI.212 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law provides for an important restriction that relates to the performances of performing artists. Provided that the performances are being reproduced or broadcast lawfully, neither the performing artist nor the producer can oppose the performances’:

  • public execution, on condition that the performances are not used in a play and that no compensation or entry fee is asked to attend the execution; and
  • broadcasting.

In return for this compulsory licence, the performing artists and producers are entitled to an equitable remuneration.

Duration

When does copyright protection begin and what is the duration of protection?

The general rule, enshrined in Article XI.166 §1 of the Belgian Code on Economic Law, is that copyright protection is granted for a term of 70 years post mortem auctoris (ie, during the life of the author and then for 70 years after his or her death).

Article XI.166 §2 of the Code on Economic Law provides that when a work is the result of collaboration, the copyright remains for the benefit of all successors in title for 70 years after the death of the last surviving joint author.

The term of protection for an audiovisual work expires 70 years after the death of the last survivor of the following persons: the main director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogue and the author of the musical compositions, with or without words, specifically composed for the work.

Article XI.166 §3 of the Code on Economic Law states that, in the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of copyright is 70 years from the time the work has lawfully been made accessible to the public. However, where the pseudonym adopted by the author leaves no doubt as to his or her identity or if the author discloses his or her identity during the period referred to in the general rule for anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection of the work shall be equal to term provided by that general rule.

In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works that have not been lawfully made accessible to the public during the 70-year period following their creation, protection shall expire at the end of that period.

Article XI.166 §4 states that when a work is published in volumes, parts, issues or instalments and its 70-year period begins at the time that the work is made accessible to the public, the term of protection shall run separately for each element.

Transfer, assignment and licensing

Transfer and assignment

What rules, restrictions and procedures govern the transfer and assignment of copyright? Are any formalities required to secure the legal effect of the transfer or assignment?

The economic copyrights are assignable/transferable.

Article XI.167 §1(2) of the Belgian Code on Economic Law states that all contracts affecting the author must be proved in writing. This provision contains a rule of proof and not a validity condition.

Article XI.167 §1(3) states that contractual provisions relating to copyright and to its modes of exploitation must be interpreted restrictively. It follows from this provision that, in case of any doubt, unclear clauses will be interpreted to the author’s benefit.

Articles XI.167 §1(4)-(6) and §2 contain specific obligations that must be respected or otherwise result in nullity. These articles read as follows (freely translated):

The author’s remuneration, the scope and duration of the assignment shall be set out explicitly for each mode of exploitation. The assignee shall be required to exploit the work in accordance with the fair practice of the profession. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the assignment of rights in respect of yet unknown forms of exploitation shall be null and void. The assignment of economic rights relating to future works shall be valid only for a limited period of time and only if the types of works to which the assignment applies are specified.

Licensing

What rules, restrictions and procedures govern copyright licensing?

The same rules as those applicable to assignments/transfers.

Are there any special provisions governing sub-licensing?

No.

What collective licensing bodies operate in your jurisdiction and how are their activities regulated?

There are 26 copyright collecting societies active in Belgium:

Their activities are regulated in Chapter 9 of Title 5 of Book XI of the Belgian Code on Economic Law. These provisions contain rules on the legal form of the collecting societies, the requirement of a permit, accounting rules, stratification rules, rules on the collection and distribution of funds, supervision, etc. 

Enforcement

Jurisdiction

Which courts are empowered to hear copyright disputes?

The Justice of the Peace is competent to hear certain claims in which the amount does not exceed €2,500.

In other cases, the competence in copyright cases is divided between the courts of first instance and the commercial courts:

  • If all parties are ’undertakings’, the Commercial Court has exclusive jurisdiction;
  • If only the defendant is an ‘undertaking’, the claimant has the choice of initiating claims before the Court of First Instance or the Commercial Court; and
  • If both parties are not ‘undertakings’, the Court of First Instance is competent.

The presidents of the Court of First Instance and the Commercial Court rule, in their respective jurisdictions, on the following claims:

  • descriptive seizure proceedings (saisie-contrefaçon);
  • expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings); and
  • summary proceedings.

Only the courts of first instance and the commercial courts in which the courts of appeal are established have jurisdiction over copyright infringements (Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Liège and Mons).

The court of the place of the infringement is competent.

Infringement

What acts constitute copyright infringement in your jurisdiction (including with regard to online and digital content)?

All acts that conflict with either the copyright holder’s exclusive (economic) rights (reproduction, including adaptation and translation, communication to the public, distribution, renting and lending; a resale right for visual artists) or the moral rights (divulgation, integrity and paternity).

Is contributory infringement recognised in your jurisdiction (including liability for internet services providers and other online/digital actors)?

Belgian law provides for the option of bringing proceedings against intermediaries whose services are used to commit infringements, even if the intermediaries themselves are not liable for the infringement.

Proceedings can be brought against both offline intermediaries (eg, shippers, transporters, storage providers, etc) and online intermediaries (internet service providers, online marketplaces, search engines, etc).

The intermediaries can be the subject of injunctions, conservatory measures and/or an order to disclose information.

Actions

What actions can be taken against copyright infringement (eg, civil, criminal or administrative), and what are the key features and requirements of each?

The types of civil proceeding that can be brought for copyright infringement are as follows:

  • Descriptive seizure proceedings (saisie-contrefaçon) are ex parte proceedings that allow the gathering of all relevant evidence relating to the alleged infringement by a court-appointed expert. Under certain conditions, the copyright holder may also request conservatory seizure measures in the framework of these proceedings;
  • Summary proceedings can be introduced to obtain preliminary injunctions in urgent cases;
  • Expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings) are proceedings on the merits that are handled like summary proceedings – that is, following the same formalities and (in principle) within similar timeframes as summary proceedings. Only the cessation of an infringement can be claimed in these proceedings. Damages cannot be claimed. Damages can be claimed only within the framework of subsequent proceedings on the merits; and 
  • Regular proceedings on the merits, in which the copyright holder can request the cessation of an infringement, damages and other remedies.

Malicious or fraudulent infringement of copyright amounts to a criminal offence and may give rise to criminal prosecution initiated by the copyright holder or ex officio by the competent authorities.

Who can file a copyright infringement action?

Infringement proceedings can be initiated by any person concerned (including, but not limited to, the author, heirs, exclusive licensee(s) and reseller of authentic copies), collecting societies, professional associations and inter-professional associations with legal personality.

Expedited proceedings on the merits can also be brought by the minister of economy or the director-general of the general service for the control and mediation of the ministry, profession-regulating organisations, professional or inter-professional associations with legal personality and consumer protection associations.

What is the statute of limitations for filing infringement actions?

The statute of limitation depends on the nature of the proceedings and can be summarised as follows:

  • 10 years for contractual liability claims;
  • five years for non-contractual liability claims. The term starts as from the moment the injured party acquires knowledge of the damage and the identity of the responsible person. In any case, however, the limitation period ends 20 years after the event has actually taken place;
  • five years for criminal proceedings. The terms starts as from the moment the infringement took place; and
  • one year for expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings).

In addition, in summary proceedings the claimant must also prove urgency.

What is the usual timeframe for infringement actions?

How long proceedings last depends on the nature of the proceedings and the workload of the courts to which they are brought:

  • Summary proceedings: ranging from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. In case of extreme urgency, these terms may be shortened following an ex parte petition;
  • Expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings): usually a couple of months; and
  • Proceedings on the merits: theoretically a couple of months, but often approximately one year.

What are the typical costs incurred in infringement actions?

The typical costs include, among others, and depending on the circumstances of the case:

  • court bailiff fees (service of writ of summons/court claim, official reports, notification and execution of judgments, etc);
  • expert fees (in discovery proceedings, court assignments, etc); and
  • lawyers’ fees.

How are attorneys’ fees handled? Can they be claimed in infringement actions?

Lawyers’ fees can be claimed, but only to a limited extent. The amounts that can be claimed are fixed by law and depend on the nature of the case and/or the value of the dispute.

For cases in which the claim cannot be appraised or expressed in monetary terms, the minimum compensation is €90, the basic compensation is €1,440 and the maximum compensation is €12,000. 

For cases in which the claim can be appraised or expressed in monetary terms, the compensation is:

Value of dispute

Basic amount

Minimum amount

Maximum amount

Up to €250

€180

€90

€360

Between €250.01 and €750

€240

€150

€600

Between €750.01 and €2,500

€480

€240

€1,200

Between €2,500.01 and €5,000

€780

€450

€1,800

Between €5,000.01 and €10,000

€1,080

€600

€2,400

Between €10,000.01 and €20,000

€1,320

€750

€3000

Between €20,000.01 and €40,000

€2,400

€1,200

€4,800

Between €40,000.01 and €60,000

€3,000

€1,200

€6,000

Between €60,000.01 and €100,000

€3,600

€1,200

€7,200

Between €100,000.01 and €250,000

€6,000

€1,200

€12,000

Between €250000.01 and €500,000 

€8,400

€1,200

€16,800

Between € 500,000.01 and €1 million

€12,000

€1,200

€24,000

Over €1 million

€18,000

€1,200

€36,000

Injunctions

What rules and procedures govern the issuance of injunctions to prevent imminent or further infringement?

In such case, the copyright holder may revert to summary proceedings or expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings):

  • Summary proceedings can be initiated to obtain preliminary injunctions in urgent cases; and
  • Expedited proceedings on the merits (cessation proceedings) are proceedings on the merits that are handled following the formalities of summary proceedings. The copyright holder can request the cessation of an infringement at relatively short notice, but cannot request damages.

Remedies

What remedies are available to owners of infringed copyrights?

The remedies available to the rights holders, depending on the nature of the proceedings, are:

  • a cessation order;
  • damages;
  • surrendering of profits (in case of bad faith);
  • surrendering of counterfeit goods and/or of materials and tools used for the creation of the counterfeit goods;
  • forfeiture of counterfeit goods and/or of materials and tools used for creation of the counterfeit goods (in cases of bad faith); and
  • publication of the judgment.

Customs enforcement

What customs enforcement measures are available to halt the import or export of pirated works?

Custom enforcement measures are governed by the EU Customs Enforcement Regulation (608/2013).

Defence

What defences are available to infringers?

Infringers that are confronted with a claim on the basis of copyright will often attempt to refute the existence of protection by arguing that the work on which the claim is based is not original. 

In subsidiary order, they will also often try to argue that their acts fall outside the scope of the exclusive rights and are therefore not infringing. 

In proceedings on the merits in which damages are claimed, it is not unusual for the defendant either to argue that the rights holder did not suffer any prejudice that justifies awarding damages, or to attempt to lower the damages.

Appeal

What is the appeal procedure for infringement decisions?

An appeal against a first-instance judgment can be initiated by filing a petition with the appellate court. The petition must be filed at the latest one month after the notification of the judgment.  

An appeal against a judgment of the Justice of the Peace must be brought before either the Court of First Instance or the Commercial Court having its seat where a court of appeal has its seat (ie, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Liège or Mons). The appeal must be brought before the Commercial Court if all the parties to the dispute are ‘undertaking’. An appeal may also be brought before the Commercial Court if the defendant is an ‘undertaking’, but the claimant is not an ‘undertaking’. In disputes in which all of the parties are not ‘undertakings’, the appeal must be brought before the Court of First Instance.

An appeal against a judgment of the Court of First Instance or the Commercial Court must be brought before a court of appeal.

Judgments of an appellate court (ie, the Court of First Instance, Commercial Court or Court of Appeal) can be challenged via an appeal to the Belgian Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is competent to decide on the legality of a judgment or regarding the formal requirements. It cannot and will not decide on the facts of a case. An appeal before the Supreme Court must be initiated by a petition filed at the latest three months after the notification of the judgment.

Online/digital considerations

Protection and enforcement measures

What special measures and safeguards should rights holders consider in protecting their online/digital content?

Implementing technical protection measures or digital rights management could be useful for the rights holders to prevent unauthorised uses or uses beyond the limits of their consent. However, experience (in particular in the music industry) shows that such measures are not very effective.