GLOBAL: The rise of drones as an issue in sport

Written by Danny Westmoreland

The remote controlled aircraft which flew a flag emblazoned with an Albanian symbol over the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania in October 2014 brought a premature end to the match amid violent scenes, with fans invading the pitch and players being hurried off under the protection of ground security. Whilst this political stunt captured the attention of the footballing world, it also brought to light another emerging issue facing professional football and other sports – the use of unmanned aircraft being flown over or into sports stadia. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK: Freedom of Speech- Unnamed artist to appeal publishing injunction in the Supreme Court

By Benjamin Simon

On 9 December a well-known British performing artist was granted permission to take his case to the Supreme Court, where he will appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in OPO v MLA & STL, reported here in October 2014.

In the case the Court of Appeal granted the artist’s ex-wife an injunction, barring him from publishing a semi-autobiographical book about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. While the unnamed performing artist said the book intended to help other victims come forward, the injunction was granted to protect their young son- the evidence of two child psychologists suggested that he would be at risk of serious psychological harm were he to read sections of the book.

In a decision that dismayed publishers and freedom of speech activists, the Court invoked the tort of deliberate infliction of harm recognised in the 19th century case Wilkinson v Downton, holding that a defendant would be taken to intend the harm by the combination of it being sufficiently likely that such harm would be suffered as a result of the defendant’s behaviour and his deliberately engaging in that behaviour. Before this, the rarely cited decision in Wilkinson v Downton had been invoked only in cases involving false words and threats. As the artist’s lawyers argued: “the decision extends the tort into an area where it has not previously been used in any common law jurisdiction”.

The artist’s appeal to the Supreme Court will be based on the argument that the book contains only true material, that the son’s rights are not been infringed, and that the artist’s freedom of speech, guarenteed under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, is being infringed.

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GLOBAL: 24 privacy authorities worldwide call for more mobile app privacy

By Patrick Van Eecke & Julie De Bruyn

Last week, the increased focus of national data protection authorities on the processing of personal data through mobile apps was again confirmed in an open letter from a group of data protection authorities. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK: Diverted Profits Tax – First Thoughts

By the DLA Piper Tax Team

The UK Government intends to introduce a 25% “diverted profits tax” (DPT) from 1 April 2015.

The tax is designed to catch the artificial erosion of the UK corporate tax base by multi-nationals that avoid establishing a fixed place of business here in the UK (a “permanent establishment” or “PE”) or that divert UK profits to related parties in lower-tax jurisdictions. In its current form, the DPT could catch multi-nationals which implement conduit arrangements (such as the “double Irish” structure) or supply chain management structures that shift profits out of the UK. Certain sectors are most likely to be impacted, including multi-national groups operating in the technology, distribution, media & entertainment, advertising, gaming, retail and hospitality sectors. Many of those groups will ultimately be owned in the USA. Existing structures will need to be reviewed before 1 April 2015 and where appropriate, corrective action taken.

The draft legislation has been released for public consultation, so multi-nationals should take the opportunity to make representations to the UK Government. For further information, please click here.

To discuss this topic with a member of the DLA Piper Tax Team, please contact:

Paul Rutherford, Mark Burgess or David Thompson

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AUSTRALIA: FIFA Club World Cup Pay Dispute & Contractual Bonus Insurance

Western Sydney Wanderers Fans (Image Source: The Daily Telegraph)

 The Western Sydney Wanderers, an A-League football club and the reigning winners of the Asian Champions League, are engaged in a dispute with its players over their share of the prizemoney in the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup (FIFA CWC).

The Wanderers administration initially offered their players a 10 per cent share of the $1.2 million prize money for reaching this quarter-final stage of the FIFA CWC,

The players rejected this offer and sought to obtain a 50 per cent share of the $1.2 million prize money, aligning with their proportionate share for winning the precursor tournament, the Asian Champions League.

The Wanderers administration have subsequently increased their offer to a staged increase based on progression in the knock-out tournament:

  • Semi-finals: 25% share of prize money ($2.4 million)
  • Finals: 40% share of prize money ($4.8 million)
  • Champions: 50% share of prize money ($ 6.0 million)

The players have rejected this subsequent offer and negotiations are ongoing between the club and the players’ representative body, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). Read the rest of this entry »

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Europe’s Right to be forgotten: update on implementation guidelines

By Patrick Van Eecke and Mathieu Le Boudec

Last week we wrote that the Article 29 Working Party (“Working Party 29″) has adopted guidelines relating to the implementation of the European Court of Justice’s Google ruling on the right to be forgotten. Click here for a previous blog post on this ruling.

These guidelines have now been published and can be consulted here.

The guidelines are important for several reasons. Not only do they clarify the scope of the ruling but they also introduce an harmonized approach by the different national Data Protection Authorities of the EU member states (“DPAs”) when handling de-listing requests. It has been an issue in Europe before that DPA’s have divergent approaches to similar problems. With these guidelines, the DPA’s will at least all follow the same criteria when handling a complaint.

In its Google ruling, the European Court of Justice held that individuals can request search engines, under certain conditions, to de-list certain links from the results for searches based on their names. Where a search engine refuses such a request, the data subject can file a complaint with the DPAs. Based on the complaints they received during the past six months, the DPAs have drafted a non-exhaustive list with thirteen common criteria which can be used as “a flexible working tool” when evaluating such complaints.

Generally more than one criterion will need to be taken into account when taking such decisions and each criterion has to be applied in the light of the principles established by the Court of Justice and in particular in the light of the “the interest of the general public in having access to [the] information”. Even when they are directed towards the DPAs, these criteria will also be very useful for search engines when handling de-listing requests.

Below we give a quick overview of these criteria. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK: World Anti-Doping Agency announce global collaboration agreement with Pfizer

By Alasdair Muller

On 3 December 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) announced a global collaboration agreement with American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc.

Under the agreement, medicines in development by Pfizer will be reviewed to identify substances with a probable or high risk of abuse in sport – scientists will look for any similarity to the pharmacological characteristics of existing performance-enhancing substances including those that produce stimulatory effects, or improved strength or physical endurance. Any new medicines found to have performance-enhancing characteristics (along with any relevant scientific data) will be voluntarily disclosed by Pfizer to WADA in order that it can devise and refine detection methods for such substances. In return, WADA will share information with Pfizer on substances that are being abused by athletes.

This is the latest in a series of agreements between WADA and various pharmaceutical bodies; it has previously entered into agreements with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations and a number of its members.

The announcement of this new agreement comes just a few weeks in advance of the implementation of the new World Anti-Doping Code, which comes into force on 1 January 2015.

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UK: Autumn Statement- More good news for the creative sector

On 3 December 2014, as part of his Autumn Statement, the UK Chancellor announced the introduction of a new children’s TV tax relief which is due to be introduced from April 2015.

As with the existing tax credit for high-end TV and animation, eligible companies will be able to claim 25% of qualifying production expenditure.  It is anticipated that the legislation implementing the new tax relief will largely follow that of the existing creative sector reliefs, such as for high-end TV.  Therefore, in order to be eligible, the production would need to pass a cultural test or be an official co-production, and be intended for broadcast (including via the internet).

It was also announced that the government will explore the possibility of reducing the minimum UK expenditure requirement from 25% to 10% and updating the cultural test for the high-end TV tax relief in order to bring it in line with the recently amended film tax credit.

A proposed consultation on introducing a new orchestra tax relief in April 2016 was also announced – the consultation is due to open in early 2015.

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GLOBAL: Main takeaways from our “Global TV Production and Co-Production incentives webinar”

 By Lee McGuirk

The TV industry is a global business set to be worth more than $400BN by 2020, with predicted year-on-year growth of 4.7%. As incentive programs are becoming increasingly important across the industry, we hosted a “TV incentives” webinar to discuss some of the key issues.

Here are some takeaways.

Read the rest of this entry »

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UK: Copyright- Music industry seeks review of law allowing fans to copy music

By Danielle Sharkey and Sam Churney

The UK Government is facing a Judicial Review challenge over a failure to include compensation provisions in the recently introduced private copying exception to Copyright.

The Musicians Union (MU), British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and industry body UK Music have launched an application for Judicial Review of the UK Government’s introduction of a private copying exception. The provision was enacted to allow consumers to make copies of music they legitimately purchase. This exception was brought into force by the new copyright legislation on 1 October this year, but does not provide for fair compensation for songwriters, musicians and other rights holders within the creative sector.

Although MU, BASCA and UK Music support the purpose of the private copying exception legislation, they have criticised the fact that it fails to include provisions which would provide musicians, composers and rights holders with fair compensation to account for loss of sales. The decision of the UK Government to omit this provision is in stark contrast to the position adopted by other European countries which have introduced the copying exception.

It will be argued that the absence of a compensatory mechanism is contrary to Article 5 (2) (b) of the Copyright Directive which includes a requirement that where a Member State provides for such a copyright exception, it must also provide fair compensation for rights holders. The UK Music press release states that “it is the compensatory element of a private copying exception that lies at the heart of EU law and underpins common respect for the songwriters, composers and musicians whose work is copied.”

The Judicial Review process will involve the UK High Court examining the UK Government’s decision on the exception to check that it was made in a lawful manner. The industry bodies hope that the challenge will result in the legislation being amended.

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