Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Week in Luxembourg

The Grand Chamber ruled in two appeals in asset freeze cases. Melli Bank lost, again, but Pye Phyo Tay Za won. You can freeze the assets of people who are associated with the rulers of a foreign country, but not the assets of the family members of a person who is associated with the rulers of a foreign country. That is one step too far removed. I am left wondering, though, whether the new art. 215(2) TFEU would produce the same answer. (This case concerned sanctions based on art. 60 and 301 EC.) Cf. Verfassungsblog, EUObserver and me, concluding that it wouldn’t.

Two copyright cases courtesy of Judge Malenovsk√Ĺ in the 3rd chamber: Hotels have to pay for the “broadcasts” they make to their guests, Phonographic Performance (Ireland) v. Ireland, but dentists do not, Societ√† Consorzio Fonografici v. Marco Del Corso, apparently because their guests don’t have any choice in the matter. The latter case is more broadly relevant because it contains an analysis of how the TRIPs Treaty, the WIPO treaty and the 1961 Rome Convention apply in the Union legal order. While none of them create individually enforceable rights, the former two are part of EU law.

G. v. De Visser involves a 10-part question (German, of course) about naked pictures on the internet. Or, to focus on the law for a moment, it is about service by public notice in cases where the defendant cannot be found, as it relates to art. 26(2) of Regulation 44/2001. Result: the German court can exercise jurisdiction in the normal way under art. 5(3) of the Regulation absent “firm evidence” that the defendant is domiciled outside the EU, it may issue a default judgement, but it may not certify a European Enforcement Order and it may not apply the e-commerce Directive.

Finally, on Chilling Competition there is a short but useful note on the overhaul of the state aid rules for SGEIs (the “Altmark package”).

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