Mirror, mirror, tell me, is the Copyright law fair and balanced? Reflection on AG’s conclusions on the Spiegel Online case (Part I)

Tatiana SynodinouOn 10 January 2019, the Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his opinion in the case Spiegel Online GmbH v Volker Beck (C 516/17). The case is part of a trilogy of preliminary references raised by the German courts focusing on copyright exceptions and the interaction of copyright law with fundamental rights (Pelham, C‑476/17 and Funke Medien C-469/17). The facts of the case are interesting. Mr. Beck, a German politician, wrote a contentious article, which was published in a collection of articles after being subject to certain modifications by the publisher without the author’s consent. Since then, the author has totally distanced himself from the content of this article. In 2013, the manuscript of the article was discovered and presented to Mr. Beck, who made the document available to various newspaper editors as evidence that his manuscript had been modified in the article published in the collection. While the author did not consent to the…

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