The most famous Czech cartoon character, Krteček, or the Little Mole, has been the centre of legal disputes for some time. Now a court has ruled that the granddaughter of Krteček’s creator, the late Zdeněk Miler, can no longer grant licenses to produce Little Mole collectibles. Judges say that a contract Miler signed with his granddaughter shortly before his death was invalid.
The Prague Supreme Court has ruled that the granddaughter of the late
artist Zdeněk Miler, author of the famous Czech cartoon character Kreček
(Little Mole), does not own the rights to it nor can she grant licenses for
the production of Little Mole collectibles.
According to the ruling, the contract which Miler signed for his granddaughter shortly before his death is invalid. The verdict is legally binding.
The court upheld an appeal by Milena Fišerová, who was authorised to administer Miller’s copyrights in 2006 and who engaged in a drawn-out legal battle with Miller’s grand-daughter after his death in 2011.
Czech critics of the European copyright reform took to the streets of
Prague on Saturday to protest against proposed changes that they say will
lead to censorship.
Protesters held up banners saying “Save the Internet” and brought a symbolic coffin indicating its fate if the bill is approved in its present form.
The biggest controversy is over Article 13 of the reform bill which critics say will prompt high-earning platforms such as Google's YouTube to use upload filters to block copyright-infringing texts, music and images to avoid expensive lawsuits from copyright holders.
Critics of the EU’s internet copyright reforms have rallied across Europe ahead of a crucial vote in the European Parliament next week.
The Czech version of Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours on Thursday in
protest against the EU copyright law.
Editors of the free encyclopaedia claim the proposed new reform will restrict their right to cite sources and as a result affect the quality of their work.
The strike, which was also joined by editors of the Slovak and German Wikipedia, comes a few days before the vote on the new EU Copyright Directive.
The Czech version of Wikipedia will be inaccessible on Thursday since its
editors are going on a one-day strike against the EU copyright reform.
They claim the proposed new norms will restrict their right to cite sources and thus reduce the quality of the encyclopaedia.
After two years of heated debate the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposed copyright reform at the end of March.
Wikipedia has shut down its pages in several countries in protest at the plans.
MPs have rejected a Senate proposal to ease copyright law by not requiring
entities, such as pubs and restaurants, to pay fees to play background
The Ministry of Culture, as well as some 1,600 artists, had come out in opposition to the proposal, put forth by Senator Ivo Valenta (unaffiliated).
Opponents argue that it contravenes both Czech and European Union law, and goes against an EU Court of Justice ruling.
The Constitutional Court has definitively ruled in favour of the Lego toy
company in its dispute with the Czech Pirates Party over the use of Lego
figures in their 2012 election campaign spot.
The Pirates were ordered to apologize to the company by the Prague Municipal Court which ruled that they had violated Lego’s ownership rights. The Constitutional Court upheld the ruling on Tuesday, saying that the clip could have created the false impression that Lego supported the party.
The Pirates Party which challenged two previous verdicts by lower instance courts on the grounds that they violated their freedom of expression said they would respect the ruling.
The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment to the copyright act which puts a ceiling on growth in copyright fees. Despite intense pressure from OSA, a Czech copyrights holders association, the Senate made no changes to the proposed amendment which will only allow copyright fees to grow in accordance with inflation. OSA had pushed for a 50 percent increase in copyright on music.
A pilot edition of a new series of animated ‘Little Mole’ films will be screened for Czech president Miloš Zeman and the Chinese deputy prime minister Liu Yandong at Prague Castle on Wednesday evening. The film has been made by for Chinese public television with 52 episodes eventually targeted telling the story of how the favourite Czech animated character met up with a panda bear and finally made it all the way to China. Liu Yandong is in the Czech Republic on an official visit.