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Compliance Updates

French Ruling On Copyright Flies In Face Of Established EU Law

George Miller

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French Ruling On Copyright Flies In Face Of Established EU Law
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

A French court ruling on 17 September in a case brought by the French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir against Valve found that purchasers of video games on Valve’s digital platform, Steam, are permitted to resell them. This ruling contradicts established EU law and should be overturned on appeal.

Simon Little, CEO of ISFE, said: “This French ruling flies in the face of established EU law which recognises the need to protect digital downloads from the ease of reproduction allowed by the Internet.  Far from supporting gamers, this ruling, if it stands, would dramatically and negatively impact investment in the creation, production and publication of, not just video games, but of the entire output of the digital entertainment sector in Europe.  If Europe’s creators cannot protect their investments and their intellectual property, the impact on both industry and consumers will be disastrous.”

According to EU copyright law, when it comes to digital and streaming services, every use must be subject to the authorisation of the rightholder and copyright does not expire with their first sale, as it does with physical goods. Physical goods are subject to the “distribution right” and to the “exhaustion doctrine” which means that the purchaser has the right to resell the goods if they were first put on the market with the authorisation of the copyright owner. This is not the case with digital downloads which are subject to the “communication to the public right”, meaning that the purchaser does not have a right to sell them on, without the copyright owner’s permission.”

 

Gamers are at the heart of what we do.

ISFE ensures that the voice of a responsible video games ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that gamers around the world continue to enjoy great gaming experiences.

 

Video games are creative works with an interactive element. Video games have been recognised as complex works by the Court of Justice of the European Union and are protected by copyright for both their non-software elements (music, audiovisual, graphics) and their software elements).

The 2001/29/EC Directive on Copyright and Neighboring Rights provides that:

(29) The question of exhaustion does not arise in the case of services and on-line services in particular. This also applies with regard to a material copy of a work or other subject-matter made by a user of such a service with the consent of the rightholder. Therefore, the same applies to rental and lending of the original and copies of works or other subject-matter which are services by nature. Unlike CD-ROM or CD-I, where the intellectual property is incorporated in a material medium, namely an item of goods, every on-line service is in fact an act which should be subject to authorisation where the copyright or related right so provides”.

 

Current case before the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) – judgement expected end of 2019

The recent Opinion of the Advocate General in the Tom Kabinet case (concerning the resale of e-books) that is currently before the CJEU confirms that the exhaustion doctrine is limited only to tangible, physical supports and has no application whatsoever to digital downloads (which are covered by the communication to the public right and not by the distribution right).

The Opinion concludes that:

“Article 3(1) and Article 4 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society must be interpreted as meaning that the supply of e-books by downloading online for permanent use is not covered by the distribution right within the meaning of Article 4 of that directive but is covered by the right of communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of that directive.”

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Court Reduces Casino Cosmopol’s AML Penalty

Niji Narayan

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Swedish Court Reduces Casino Cosmopol’s AML Penalty
Photo Source: casinocosmopol.se
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Sweden’s Administrative Court has reduced the penalty issued to Casino Cosmopol in 2018 from SEK8m to SEK3m.

The fine was issued by Lotteriinspektionen in relation to systematic deficiencies in Casino Cosmopol’s policies related to money laundering and terrorist financing in November 2018.

Casino Cosmopol submitted an appeal against this in December 2018, which was heard in Sweden’s Administrative Court last week. The hearing found that while the court agreed that the casino had breached its licence conditions, there should be a reduction in the penalty fee paid.

In response to the ruling, Lotteriinspektionen has said it will consider launching an appeal of its own against the Administrative Court decision.

“Casino Cosmopol AB has applied for a license to operate games when the new Gaming Act comes into force at the turn of the year. The Lottery Inspectorate has now informed Casino Cosmopol that they need to supplement their application with a description of the measures planned to comply with the money laundering regulations,” the regulator said.

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Compliance Updates

MGA publishes Guidelines on the Impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union

George Miller

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MGA publishes Guidelines on the Impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Malta Gaming Authority is publishing a guidance note on the impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union in consideration of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The contents of the guidance note relate solely to regulatory affairs within the remit of the MGA, and operators should also be aware of ulterior consequences resulting from Brexit, including but not limited to data protection, immigration, employment, duty, and copyright considerations.

The contents of this guidance note are of particular importance to entities established in Malta and operating in the United Kingdom, or entities established in the United Kingdom providing services and supplies within Malta, and it also details transitory measures in place for operators to ensure readiness and avoid regulatory disruption.

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Compliance Updates

iSoftBet awarded Malta B2B supplier licence

George Miller

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iSoftBet awarded Malta B2B supplier licence
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

More than 100 proprietary games certified – all new titles to be offered to tier one brands in rapidly growing jurisdiction

 iSoftBet, the leading online and mobile casino content provider, has been awarded a B2B software licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) enabling it to offer more than 100 of its best performing games to a host of tier one brands.

iSoftbet is certified in 16 of the world’s largest regulated and emerging territories and provides brands with the highest quality casino games and maximum speed to market.

The supplier’s MGA B2B licence is a key regulatory landmark for the business with a host of well-known brands investing heavily in the rapidly growing jurisdiction, looking for a combination of proven and fresh content during the busiest period of the year for the iGaming industry.

Among the 100 iSoftBet games certified for Malta include classic titles such as Hot Spin, Vegas High Roller, and Wild Ape.

iSoftBet has a reputation for being at the forefront of slot development, performance, product diversity and innovation with a portfolio of more than 150 proprietary titles and more than 4,500 games on its Game Aggregation Platform (GAP). The software providers available on iSoftBet’s GAP will continue to supply their content if they hold a MGA Gaming Licence or letter of recognition.

Mark Halstead, Compliance Manager at iSoftBet, said: “We are one of the most certified and compliant suppliers in the iGaming industry. Malta is a key milestone for iSoftBet, and we’re delighted to have gone through the licensing process with flying colours.

“This enables us to both extend our relationships with existing tier one customers as well as gain access to a wealth of potential new clients. Malta is attracting an increasing number of well-known operators and we’re excited about what the future holds there.”

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