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  • Henry Park

Copyright licenses have terms

On March 9, 2021, the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) ruled that copyright owners can impose requirements on copyright licensees (see VG Bild-Kunst v. Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, C-392/19). In this case, VG Bild-Kunst argued that it could require its licensees through contractual terms to add features that would stop third-parties from embedding the licensed copyrighted works on other websites. The CJEU agreed.

While some view this as being a seminal case, it shouldn't be viewed as such. Rather, copyright owners always have had the ability to impose requirements on licensees. This case is better viewed as an acknowledgment that licensors can set license terms.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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