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Article

The Elusive Quest for Digital Exhaustion in the US and the EU

The CJEU’s Tom Kabinet Ruling a Milestone or Millstone for Legal Evolution?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords digital exhaustion, Tom Kabinet, UsedSoft, ReDigi, copyright law
Authors Shubha Ghosh and Péter Mezei
AbstractAuthor's information

    The CJEU published its much-awaited preliminary ruling in Case C-263/18 - Nederlands Uitgeversverbond and Groep Algemene Uitgevers (the Tom Kabinet case) in December 2019. Our paper aims to introduce the Tom Kabinet ruling and discuss its direct and indirect consequences in copyright law. The Tom Kabinet ruling has seriously limited (in fact, outruled) the resale of lawfully acquired e-books. It left various questions unanswered, and thus missed the opportunity to provide for clarity and consistency in digital copyright law. Our analysis addresses how the CJEU deferred from its own logic developed in the UsedSoft decision on the resale of lawfully acquired computer programs, and how the CJEU’s conservative approach ultimately missed the opportunity to reach a compromise ruling. The paper further introduces the US approach that has a strong distinction between selling and making with respect to the research of exhaustion. We aim to trace how this distinction rests on the statutory basis for exhaustion (in copyright) and common law basis (in patent and trademark law) and compare these findings with the CJEU’s recent interpretation of exhaustion. Our focus will be on the Supreme Court’s decisions in Kirstaeng and Bowman and lower court decisions that examine technological solutions to facilitate resale. We examine how the US approach adopts a rigid approach that might inhibit technological development in digital markets, an approach with parallels in the Tom Kabinet ruling. In conclusion, we assess whether there is convergence between the two sides of the Atlantic or whether there is a path of innovative legal development that reconciles the various precedents.


Shubha Ghosh
Shubha Ghosh: Crandall Melvin professor of law, Syracuse University, US.

Péter Mezei
Péter Mezei: associate professor of law, University of Szeged; adjunct professor (dosentti), University of Turku, Finland.
Article

The Impact of the Achmea Ruling on Intra-EU BIT Investment Arbitration

A Hungarian Perspective

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Achmea, Intra-EU BIT, investment arbitration, investment protection, Hungary
Authors Veronika Korom
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Achmea judgment of the CJEU brought the worlds of EU law and investment arbitration on a collision course. The judgment sent shockwaves through the EU investment arbitration community, which feared that Achmea would be the death knell of intra-EU BIT arbitration. In the years since Achmea, however, arbitral tribunals, ad hoc committees and national courts have found ways around Achmea, effectively eliminating its practical impact on intra-EU investment disputes. On 5 May 2020, the majority of EU Member States adopted a multilateral agreement that seeks to terminate intra-EU BITs and provides for a transitional regime for pending arbitrations in order to give effect to Achmea. This agreement, once ratified, will mark the end of intra-EU BIT arbitration in the future, although its impact on pending proceedings remains unclear. With its 22 intra-EU BITs and several arbitration proceedings pending under these treaties, Hungary has relied heavily (albeit unsuccessfully thus far) on Achmea in recent years as part of its defense strategy. The final termination of intra-EU BITs will be a win for Hungary in the short term, as no new investment arbitrations can be pursued by EU investors against Hungary. In the long term, however, the termination of intra-EU BITs will leave Hungarian companies who invest in the EU without sound legal protection and may even adversely impact Hungary’s standing as an attractive place for EU investment.


Veronika Korom
Veronika Korom: assistant professor of law, ESSEC Business School.
Editorial

Editorial Comments: The Relevance of Foreign Investment Protection in International and EU Law

Foreword to Vol. 8 (2020) of the Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Authors Marcel Szabó
Author's information

Marcel Szabó
Marcel Szabó: editor-in-chief; professor of law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; justice, Constitutional Court of Hungary, Budapest.

András Tóth
András Tóth: professor of law, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Budapest; Chairman of the Competition Council, Hungarian Competition Authority.
Article

The International Trading System and Market Distortions

Revisiting the Need for Competition Rules within the WTO

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords cross-border business activities, developing countries, multilateral competition rules, trade and competition, WTO
Authors Franziska Sucker
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a result of the interconnectedness of the global economy, cross-border activities of economic operators are soaring. Their business practices are not governed by multilateral rules, but merely, if at all, by regional or national laws. As a result, they are potentially subject to over- or under-enforcement and -regulation or to conflicting rules. The resultant legal uncertainties and, therefore, potential lack of discipline for practices facilitates the development of dominant positions and anticompetitive behavior. This advances market distortions to the detriment of diverse offerings and the competitiveness of small market players, especially in economically weak developed countries. Such unfavorable developments could be reduced by preventing market concentration and disciplining anticompetitive behavior. I argue that multilateral rules alone would ensure that cross-border activities of economic operators are subject to uniform rules, irrespective of which country’s or region’s market is affected; and thus, provide legal certainty for current gaps. Moreover, in spite of the resistance of numerous countries to include competition disciplines within the World Trade Organization (WTO), rules aimed at dismantling barriers to trade created by private economic operators are not only theoretically desirable but indispensable in the long term to avoid an erosion of the WTO system by effectively replacing state-created barriers. The increasing role of supply chains and the rising volatility of international commodity prices should give all, albeit particularly the economically weak developed countries, reason to pause and revisit an issue that has significant implications for the competitiveness of their economic operators.


Franziska Sucker
Associate professor, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Article

From International Law in Books to International Law in Action

ELTE Law School’s Jessup and Telders Victories in 2019

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Authors Gábor Katjár and Katalin Sulyok
Author's information

Gábor Katjár
Associate professor, ELTE Law School, Budapest, and coach of ELTE Jessup Team since 2010 as well as coach of ELTE Telders Team since 2016.

Katalin Sulyok
Senior lecturer, ELTE Law School, Budapest, and co-coach of ELTE Jessup Team in 2015, 2017 and 2019; co-coach of ELTE Telders Team in 2019.

Franciska Takó-Bencze
Trainee judge at the Budapest-Capital Regional Court.

Sándor Takó
Visiting lecturer of Pazmany Peter Catholic University at the Department of Private Law as well as at the Budapest Metropolitan University.
Article

The Hungarian Cold Food Voucher Case

A Somewhat Rigorous Approach of the Court on the Interpretation of Free Movement Provisions

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2016
Authors Réka Somssich
Author's information

Réka Somssich
PhD, dr. habil. Associate Professsor, ELTE University, Faculty of Law.

Francesco Seatzu
Professor of International and EU Law, University of Cagliari, Italy.

Paolo Vargiu
Lecturer, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Tamas Dezso Ziegler
Research fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Institute for Legal Studies of the Centre for Social Sciences.
Article

The Personal Law of Companies and the Freedom of Establishment under EU Law

The Enthronement of the Country-of-origin Principle and the Establishment of an Unregulated Right of Cross-Border Conversion

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2013
Authors Csongor István Nagy
Author's information

Csongor István Nagy
Doctor juris (Budapest), LL.M. (Budapest/New York), Ph.D. (Budapest), SJD (Budapest/New York). Associate professor at and head of the Private International Law Department of the University of Szeged (Hungary), associate professor at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), and head of the International and EU Law Department of the István Bibó College of Law (Budapest) and visiting associate professor at the Sapientia University in Cluj-Napoca (Romania). The author was a visiting fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (London) at the time the paper was completed.
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