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France

E-commerce

The Supreme Court has rendered four anticipated rulings in relation to Google's liability for its paid referencing service, AdWords. The four rulings implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which considered the cases in a referral, and annul the appeal rulings that held Google liable for trademark infringement.

In accordance with the government's aim of liberalizing the online gambling sector before the 2010 World Cup, the National Assembly recently adopted the proposed legislation as presented by the Senate so that it could be ratified and promulgated. However, the Socialist opposition has challenged the terms for liberalization before the Constitutional Council.

Search engines are not subject to a statutory liability regime. In a recent case the Paris Court of Appeal reiterated several rules relating to the technical role of a search engine. Within this framework, the court reiterated search engines' obligations and then determined how they may be held liable.

Media & Entertainment

The Nanterre Criminal High Court recently held that the second part of Article L335-2-1 of the IP Code, which prohibits the act of encouraging the public to use software that allows access to works without the authors' permission, should be interpreted broadly to apply to editors of magazines and newspapers. The decision marks the first time that a media organisation has been sentenced for encouraging readers to use illegal downloading software.

The Paris High Court has ordered Copie France – the collective management organisation tasked with managing the private copying levy – to pay more than €1 million to three distributors in relation to overpayments of the private copying levy. The three suits arose following the Council of State's invalidation of several decisions of the Private Copying Levy Committee.

The Paris Court of First Instance recently ruled on an interesting case regarding hosting provider qualification and hyperlinking case law in the context of online piracy of live television broadcasting. The court held that since the website was accessible in France, French law applied and the French courts had jurisdiction to rule on the damage caused in France by the Spanish company.

The Centre du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNC), which regulates and supports the cinematographic, audiovisual and multimedia industries in France, has adopted and published the General Regulation on CNC Subsidies. All of the rules regarding the different types of financial support offered by the CNC to the cinematographic, audiovisual and multimedia industries are now contained in the general regulation.

France has implemented two tax credit systems for the benefit of producers, both of which were recently amended. The changes – which will apply from the tax year starting January 1 2016, subject to approval by the European Commission – primarily favour the production of animation works and the relocation of foreign productions to France.

The rules regulating good-faith sports news coverage have been criticised by the holders of rights in sporting events, which argued that such rules gave overly broad broadcasting rights to television news channels for free. The Superior Audiovisual Council recently issued a new decision which aims to strike a balance between public interest considerations, editorial freedom and legitimate business concerns.

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