IP/IT News – February 2023

⭐ [ Best of ] Read the February's top news about intellectual property, technology and data protection.


🇫🇷 Piracy / Report: The French Association for the Fight against Audiovisual Piracy (ALPA) has published a report on the audience of illicit sites dedicated to video consumption in France (Report of February 2023).

⚖️ [ Counterfeiting / Justice ] Amazon and Brother are suing 18 alleged members of a counterfeiting network in the Berlin Regional Court accused of selling non-genuine cartridges under the brand of the printer manufacturer (Press release, Feb. 23rd, 2023).

©️ [ AI / Copyright ] The U.S. Copyright Office refuses to grant copyright protection to images generated by artificial intelligence through the Midjourney service. The previous recording of Zarya of the Dawn is canceled and replaced with a new recording covering the “text” and the “selection, coordination, and arrangement of author-created text and artificial intelligence generated illustrations”, excluding AI-generated artwork (Decision of Feb. 21st, 2023).

⚖️ [ Unfair competition / Justice ] The Paris Commercial Court dismisses 5 legal publishers (Dalloz, Lexbase, Lexisnexis, Lextenso and Wolters Kluwers France) of their request to have Forseti, the publisher of Doctrine.fr, summoned for unfair competition, advertising misleading and parasitism, the collection of decisions that Doctrine publishes on its site being deemed legal (TCOM Paris, 23 Feb. 2023, n°2020019375).

🇪🇺 [ Telecoms / Regulation ] The European Commission is launching a public consultation on the future of telecom infrastructures in order to have the major digital players such as GAFAM and major streaming players contribute financially to their deployment (Press release, Feb. 24th, 2023).

📚 [ Piracy / Regulation ] While Amazon is accused of removing the books of many independent publishers and authors from the Kindle Unlimited service for violating their exclusive agreement, the distribution of copies of these books would actually be the work of pirate websites (Press release, Feb. 27th, 2023).

⚖️ [ Counterfeiting / Justice ] The company under Italian law Buti was condemned for counterfeiting the Hermes brand as well as the copyrights on its Birkin and Kelly bags (CA Aix en Provence, Chambre 1, Feb. 6, 2023, n°2200548).

⚠️ [ AI / Cybercrime ] Cybersecurity specialists warn of the presence of fake ChatGPT applications on Google Play Store (Press release, Feb. 13th, 2023).

🇺🇸 [ AI / Regulation ] The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns companies against the opportunistic and unfounded promotion of AI tools in their products (Press release, Feb. 27th, 2023).

🇪🇺 [ TikTok / Regulation ] The European Parliament has in turn banned the use of the social network TikTok on the professional devices of its staff due to suspicions that the Chinese company ByteDance is accessing user data. In France, the Senate has launched a commission of inquiry into the use of the social network TikTok, its use of data, its influence strategy (Proposal for a resolution, Feb. 1st, 2023).

🇪🇺 [ Streaming / Regulation ] The European Commission has issued a Statement of Objections to Apple to clarify its concerns regarding the App Store rules applicable to music streaming providers (Press Release, Feb. 28th, 2023).

⚠️ [ Cyberattacks ] Several German airports victims of DDdos attacks, in retaliation following Germany’s decision to allow the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine (Press release, February 17th, 2023).

⚖️ [ Ticketing / Justice ] In New Zealand, the Commerce Commission is suing Viagogo for violation of the Fair Trading Act since 90% of the platform’s tickets are sold by professional resellers (Press release of Feb. 15, 2023).

⚖️ [ Piracy / Justice ] Egyptian law enforcement agencies announce the shutdown of MyCima, one of the largest pirate websites in the Middle East (Press release of Feb. 15, 2023).

⚖️ [ Related Rights / Justice ] Google, Meta, Spotify and Sony Music are bringing an action for annulment before the Constitutional Court of the Belgian law which transposes the European directive on copyright and related rights.

📊 [ Copyright / Regulation ] The IIPA (International Intellectual Property Alliance) has published the 301 report on the enforcement and defense of copyrights for the United States Deputy Trade Representative for the Innovation and Intellectual Property (Report of Jan. 30, 2023).

⚖️ [ Moderation / Justice ] Two families of victims of attacks file a complaint before the Supreme Court of the United States against Google, Facebook and Twitter accusing them of not having properly managed the moderation of jihadist content made available online. Examination of complaints as of February 21.

⚖️ [ Counterfeiting / Justice ] In a judgment dated February 15, 2023, opposing Lalique and Habitat on the subject of the counterfeiting of wine glasses, the Paris Court of Appeal rejects this reason in particular because of the difference between the stems of the lenses and the user’s ability to discern the differences between the two models (CA Paris, February 15, 2023, No. 21/14049).

⚖️ [ Piracy / Justice ] After a first instance trial against 1Fichier.com in 2021, Nintendo is again suing the download website before the Paris Court of Appeal accusing it of having offered copies of its online games (Press release of Feb. 15, 2023).


🇪🇺 [ Personal Data / Regulation ] The French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) publishes a study for the implementation of the regulation on European data governance (Data Governance Act) (Press release, Feb. 9th, 2023, CNIL study of January 2023).

🛒 [ E-commerce / Report ] The French Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (FEVAD) publishes the 2022 Report of e-commerce in France: online sales increased by 13.8% in 1 year (Press release, Feb. 7th, 2023).

⚖️ [ Cryptocurrency / Justice ] UK judge rejects claims by computer scientist Craig Wright, alleged creator of Bitcoin, of copyright enforcement to the Bitcoin file format as a literary work (IL-2022-000069, 7 Feb. 2023).

🔓 [ Cybersecurity / Phishing ] Hackers managed to access the consultation of confidential Reddit documents by trapping an employee during a phishing campaign (Press release, Feb. 9th, 2023).

🚫 [ Advertising / Regulation ] The French National Committee against Smoking (CNCT) recommends the immediate banning of flavorings (excluding tobacco flavoring) for all products containing nicotine after the results of its studies on new tobacco and nicotine (vaping products, heated tobacco and nicotine pouches) (Press release of February 13, 2023).

📊 [ Piracy / Survey ] According to the 2022 edition of the Australian Government’s Consumer Survey of Online Copyright Infringement: 39% of respondents have illegally streamed, accessed or downloaded content in the last 3 months (Press release February 10th, 2023; Consumer Survey on Online Copyright Infringement 2022).

🇫🇷 [ Crypto-assets / Legislation ] On February 9th, the French Parliament validated the registration regime for digital asset service providers providing for a reinforced registration procedure which will apply from July 1st, 2023 (Press release of February 9, 2023).

🇪🇺 [ Big Tech / Regulation ] The European Commission point out Twitter which, unlike its counterparts, has not made a full report on the conditions for combating disinformation, in application of the Digital Services Act (Press release of Feb. 10, 2023).

⚖️ [ Digital / Justice ] The French Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti presents the new digital transformation plan for justice (Press release of Feb. 14, 2023).

⚖️ [ Competition / Justice ] In a case opposing lingerie brands Dim and Princess Tam Tam, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Dim’s request to condemn its adversary for unfair and parasitic competition due to the recruitment of the manufacturer of its competitor which was not bound by a commitment of exclusivity and confidentiality (CA Paris, 5, 1, 08-02-2023, n° 21/07680).

🇫🇷 [ Audiovisual / Regulation ] The French Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication (ARCOM) condemns the French TV channel C8 to a fine of 3.5 million euros for insulting remarks against a deputy (ARCOM, Dec. n° 2023-63, 9 Feb. 2023: JO 11 Feb. 2023).

🇫🇷 [ Advertising / Regulation ] The French Advertising Joint Council (CPP) has issued an opinion on the recommendations of the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) relating to advertising in the financial sector and the creation of a new Recommendation dedicated to communications on crypto-assets (CPP Opinion of Jan. 19, 2023).

⚖️ [ Literary and Artistic Property / Justice ] The text and the music of a song belonging to different genres and being separable, the mere fact that the text is separated from the music does not necessarily infringe the moral rights of the author (Civ 1, 8 Feb. 2023, Appeal No. 21-23.976).

⚖️ [ Ticketing / Justice ] US court dismisses class action lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster accusing them of inflating ticket prices (US Court of Appeals, Feb. 13th 2023, No. 21-56200).


🎟️ [ Ticketing / Legislation ] US President Joe Biden calls on Ticketmaster and other companies to reduce service fees added to concert or sporting event tickets under the Junk Fee Prevention Act (Press release dated Feb. 2, 2023).

⚖️ [ Tobacco / Justice ] French TV channel Canal+ sentenced for direct and indirect advertising in favour of tobacco and vaping during the broadcast of Formula 1 sports competitions organised in 2021 by the International Automobile Federation (TJ Paris 31è Ch./2, Press release of Feb. 3, 2023).

💬 [ Big Tech / IA ] While Microsoft and Bing now includes ChatGPT, the IA of Open AI, Google and then Baidu announced the launch of their chatbot “Bart” for Google and “Ernie Bot” for Baidu (Microsoft, Google and Baidu press releases of 6 and 7 Feb. 2023).

📊 [ Piracy / Survey ] According to the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office’s 12th Survey of Online Copyright Infringement, overall infringement rates (respondents who accessed any content illegally) are on the rise (32% compared to 25% in 2021) (Publication of Feb. 3, 2023).

📱 [ Influencers / Legislation ] A bill aimed at the influencer sector will be debated in the French National Assembly from the end of March (Law proposition n°790).

⚖️ [ NFT / Justice ] The New York Court condemns Mason Rothschild to pay $ 133,000 in damages to the luxury house Hermès for having reproduced and sold without its authorisation Metabirkins, virtual bags in the form of NFT reproducing its famous Birkin bag (Press release of Feb. 8, 2023).

⚖️ [ Brand / Justice ] The German supermarket group Lidl accuses, in the High Court of London, the retail group Tesco of deliberately copying Lidl’s brand and logo to deceive customers into believing that its prices are comparable (Press release of Feb. 7, 2023).

👮 [ Cybercrime ] The Dutch and German authorities announce that they have dismantled the cryptographic communication service Exclu, made up of around 3,000 members, some of whom belong to organised criminal groups (Press release of Feb. 6, 2023).

🇪🇺 [ NFT / Trademark ] EUIPO rejects Burberry design as trademark to cover NFT (EUIPO, February 8, 2023)

🇬🇧 [ Free Software / Public Service ] The French Ministry of Transformation and Public Service publishes an action plan “free and common digital software” for the digital transformation of public service (Publication of Feb. 8, 2023).

🇺🇸 [ Counterfeiting / Piracy ] The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released the annual List of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, an “important tool that urges the private sector and trading partners to take action against these harmful practices” (Press release of January 31, 2023).

🎟️ [ Tickets ] New malfunctions at Ticketmaster during the sale on February 1st of tickets for the John Mayer concert: waiting time, presence of bots, tickets available on resale platforms. In the US, the multinational has already been the subject of an anti-trust investigation launched by the Department of Justice since last November (Press release of Feb. 1, 2023).

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