Copyright judges: “copying unnecessarily is always bad”


Copyright law professor Dirk Visser interviewed 17 judges of so-called “intellectual property” cases (copyrights, patents, trademarks) and found some remarkable similarities:

  • Cases are mostly decided in the first instance (usually of a Kort Geding, the fast track for law suits that demand speedy attention),
  • Judges feel that creating confusion or misleading is always wrong,
  • Judges feel that copying in itself is not bad, but copying unnecessarily is.

Unfortunately the article with the results is behind a pay wall, so I have to rely on this summary by Boek 9 (Dutch). The suggestion though seems to be that cases are decided on moral, rather than sound legal or economic grounds.

According to Boek 9, public research and expert opinion barely influence the judges—their experience being that such studies and statements are almost always imprecise, manipulated, one-sided or contradictory.

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