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Monthly Archives: February 2016

La Clause de non-concurrence dans le contrat de travail

La clause de non-concurrence est un instrument fréquemment utilisé par les employeurs. Si cette clause peut sembler une évidence, il importe d'en dessiner les contours afin d'éviter, pour l'employé ou l'ouvrier, de s'engager au respect d'une clause qui ne respecte pas les conditions établies par le droit belge. La clause de non-concurrence est la clause par laquelle  un employé (ou un ouvrier) se voit interdire, au moment de son départ, l'exercice d'activités similaires à celles qu'il exerce auprès de son employeur, soit dans son entreprise propre, soit en s'engageant chez un employeur concurrent. Le but d'une telle clause est d'empêcher à l'employer de porter préjudice à l'entreprise qu'il a quittée en utilisant pour lui-même ou au profit d'un concurrent les connaissances particulières à l'entreprise en matière industrielle ou commerciale. Les conditions de validité de la clause de concurrence sont prescrites par la loi sur le contrat de travail : • la clause ne peut d'appliquer qu'aux travailleurs dont la rémunération est supérieure à un plafond revu annuellement; à défaut, elle est réputée inexistante . la clause doit avoir été constatée par écrit . la durée de la clause ne peut pas excéder 12 mois après la cessation du contrat de travail . La clause doit se rapporter à des activités similaires à celle exercées pendant l’exécution du contrat . la clause doit être géographiquement limitée aux lieux où le travailleur pourrait concurrencer son employeur et, en tout cas, ne pas dépasser le territoire de la Belgique . la clause doit enfin prévoir le paiement d'une indemnité compensatoire unique et forfaitaire par l'employeur d'un montant minimal égal à la moitié de la rémunération brute du travailleur pendant la période couverte par la dite clause. A défaut [...]

2018-02-14T22:51:51+00:00February 29th, 2016|Non classé|

Comment réconcilier l’Afrique et la Cour pénale internationale?

Le travail effectué par la Cour pénale internationale (ci-après CPI) depuis 2002 mérite d’être salué. En effet, elle a prouvé en inculpant des chef d’Etat que personne ne devrait échapper à la justice qu’il soit ancien dirigeant comme pour l’affaire Laurent Gbagbo ou qu’il exerce encore ses fonctions comme les affaires concernant le Président du Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta et le Président soudanais Omar Al Bashir. Toutefois, la Cour n’est pas parfaite et les critiques à son encontre devraient pouvoir contribuer à aider cette jeune juridiction (qui a encore beaucoup à prouver) dans la mise en œuvre d’une justice qui se doit de respecter les principes essentiels d’indépendance et d’équité. Ainsi, une des principales critiques serait que "l'Afrique serait en procès devant la Cour pénale internationale". En effet, les chefs d’Etat africains considèrent être la seule cible de la Cour pénale internationale. Le problème semble double. D’une part, nous avons une justice qui se veut équitable mais qui semble incapable de s’attaquer aux Etats plus « puissants ». D’autre part, les Etats africains ont l’impression d’être encore à l’époque coloniale et aimeraient donc pouvoir organiser eux-mêmes un système juridique et prendre en charge la poursuite des criminels africains. La solution semble être, contrairement à ce que prévoient les Etats africains, que la plupart des Etats ratifient le Statut de Rome. En effet, selon ce Statut, la Cour est compétente si « l’Etat sur le territoire duquel le comportement en cause a eu lieu ».[1] Par conséquent, plus les pays vont ratifier le Statut, plus nous pourrons espérer voir un jour les « plus puissants » répondre de leurs actes criminels. Prenons à titre d’exemple le cas de la situation irakienne. En effet, si l’Irak avait ratifié le Statut de Rome, la Cour aurait ainsi été [...]

2018-02-14T22:21:23+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

Moyens de subsistance et regroupement familial : une discrimination sur base de la fortune ?

La condition de moyens de subsistance suffisants n’a longtemps été qu’une question théorique. En effet, jusqu’à présent cette condition ne concernait que le regroupement familial avec un enfant handicapé célibataire et majeur ou la famille de l’étudiant. A présent, les ressortissant de pays tiers ou les belges qui désirent se faire rejoindre par leur conjoint, partenaire ou enfants devront apporter la preuve qu’ils détiennent des moyens de subsistance stables, suffisants et réguliers pour subvenir à leurs propres besoins et à ceux des membres de leur famille afin d’éviter qu'ils ne deviennent une charge pour les pouvoirs publics. En ce qui concerne l’évaluation de ces moyens, le législateur belge précise qu’il faut prendre en considération la spécificité de la situation personnelle du citoyen, qui comprend également la nature et la régularité de ses revenus et le nombre des membres de la famille à sa charge. En outre, la loi du 8 juillet 2011 a modifié le prescrit du paragraphe 5 de l’article 10 de la sorte et impose que « l’étranger doit disposer de 120% du montant du revenu d’intégration pour une personne vivant exclusivement avec une famille à sa charge à savoir : 1.208 euros par mois et ce, peu importe le nombre de personnes composant son « ménage » »[1]. Tel que le conçoit le Conseil d’Etat dans son avis du 4 avril 2011, cette « disposition pose problème au regard de la jurisprudence de la Cour de Justice de l’Union européenne. » En effet, si l’on se tourne vers l’arrêt Chakroun[2], la Cour de Justice stipule que : « Dès lors que l’ampleur des besoins peut être très variable selon les individus, cette autorisation doit par ailleurs être interprétée en ce sens que les États membres peuvent [...]

2018-02-15T02:03:02+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: ARE THEY COMPLEMENT OR CONFLICTING?

  The redactors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights decided to accept the claims about intellectual property of authors, creators, and inventors as a Human Right. Is intellectual property compatible with human rights or harmful to them? The purpose of this part is to find answers by clarifying the grey areas and the fundamental disputes between intellectual property and human rights.   SECTION I: IP AS BEING COMPLEMENTARY TO HUMAN RIGHTS The three important legislations about human rights[1] enumerate intellectual rights with other rights in the same single article. As a matter of fact, the protection of authors and creators must be understood as a necessary precondition for completing, respecting and promoting cultural freedom, taking part in cultural life and scientific progress. In other words, the rights of authors and creators have to facilitate, rather than restrict, cultural participation and scientific access. Besides, both intellectual property and human rights are fundamentally compatible in the sense that intellectual rights try to strike the balance between incentives on the one hand and access on the other hand. Indeed, one may recognize an intersection between both systems by balancing positions and interests.     SECTION II: IP AS BEING DIFFERENT FROM HUMAN RIGHTS The international authority responsible for the follow-up of the Universal Covenant of economic, social and cultural rights was little interested in the interpretation of intellectual property as a human right. Admittedly, most jurists specialized in intellectual property think about the commercial aspect rather than the ethical and moral considerations. However, it is of the present writer’s opinion that intellectual property considered as a human right with an ethic interest is completely different from intellectual property considered with an economic interest. Firstly, by rewarding an [...]

2018-02-15T02:03:15+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

SHOULD PERSONALITY RIGHTS BE PROTECTED BY INTELECTUAL PROPERTY?

For many years, English judges have not been fervent supporters for according an exclusive right based on vague notions, such as name, image or fame. This article will question the legitimacy of personality rights, especially the right to publicity and the right to one’s image by doing a comparison with intellectual property regime. In the last few years, the whole world has noticed the abundance of celebrities’ images. Indeed, the number of publicity represented by celebrities has incredibly increased whether it is for drinks, perfumes, cosmetics or sport clothes. On the one hand, commercial companies are aware of the fact that celebrities will draw much more attention from the public on the product than publicity with unknown persons. On the other hand, celebrities are aware of the importance of their image in order to succeed. However, personality rights are not limited to commercial gains but can also involve moral aspects, such as the reputation and honour. Some commentators consider that personality rights should be protected by intellectual property because of the similitude of their justifications. As a matter of fact, personality rights are generally justified by the labour theory, the personhood theory and the economic incentives theories, which are the above-mentioned justifications of Intellectual Property. According to Locke’s theory, “everybody is entitled to the fruits of their labour, and to prevent those from reaping without sewing. This theory has much appeal to the celebrity industry as it facilitates a celebrity in protecting their persona where they have expended time, effort and investment in constructing their celebrity persona”[1]. However, one may argue that this theory does not make sense considering that some celebrities have not really laboured for their personality. Indeed, labour theory does not take [...]

2018-02-15T02:10:14+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

THE HIDDEN LIABILITY OF GOOGLE IMAGES IN COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

  Search engines, which are large databases put together, acquire their data by seeking information from website operators, ISPs or their domain name registrars . Image search engines in particular consist in a database of images that are copied into thumbnail form for indexing and subsequent searching . One of the best examples of image search engines is without no doubt, the giant Google Images. Indeed, Google Images is the first stop for many of us looking for the perfect image on our blog or presentation slides. Image search engines, such as Google, have opened up a huge world of images to everybody. As a matter of fact, image search engines can benefit from database protection provided that all the conditions are fulfilled . However, of greater controversy and importance is whether the activities of search engines can amount to copyright infringements.   A view from the United States Several US cases addressed the issue of copyright infringement for image search engines. It is commonly recognized that the two landmark cases are Kelly v Arriba Soft  and Perfect 10 v Google .   a) Kelly v Arriba Soft In this case , the plaintiff, Kelly, is a professional photographer who publishes his work in books and on the Internet. The defendant, Arriba (now called ditto.com or Ditto) is a visual search engine dedicated to images and provides therefore a list of reduced thumbnail pictures according to the search query. In 1993, around 35 Kelly’s images were put in the defendant’s database and made available to the public in thumbnail form. Following the objection of the plaintiff, Arriba removed the images from its database but some reappeared due to technical problems. In the meantime, Kelly brought [...]

2018-02-15T02:10:31+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

Can ‘Digital Distance Education’ be illegal regarding copyright law?

What is E-Education? E-education, E-learning or Digital Distance Education is a lively and expanding field. The term is applied to a range of educational processes that is extremely diffuse. The most fundamental definition (and the simplest one) of the distance education is the following: “a form of education in which students are separated from their instructors by time and/or space” (M. Papadopoulou, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions in an E-Education Environment, European Journal of Law and Technology. 2010, 1(2)). Such particular education has attracted much success thanks to the use of new technologies (ICT) to improve the achievement of educational objectives.   Does E-Education comply with copyright protection? While it is clear that a teacher is entitled to show copyrighted pictures to his students in his classroom for educational activities, the question whether a teacher can display images online for E-education is less clear. The relevant provision is Article 10(2) of the Berne Convention, which provides that Member States must permit the use of copyrighted works for teaching, to the extent that it is justified by the purpose and that such use is compatible with fair practice. Since nothing in the Berne convention indicates that E-education should be excluded from the exception, some commentators considered that so long as the purpose is teaching, the use of digital technology to transmit or conduct such teaching should not threaten the legitimacy of the limitation in any way.   A view from the UK It should however be noted that this exception has been narrowed by most countries through the national implementation laws due to some reluctance in this matter. The UK position is an example, as the 2003 Regulations have strengthened the regime with several conditions, which are [...]

2018-02-15T02:10:45+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

COPYRIGHT TRANSFER: THE PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE OF THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT

The transfer of copyright is valid only via a written and signed agreement. Such a rule has serious consequences in our digital era where people no longer read text, especially on the Internet.   The rule of copyright transfer Admittedly, copyright ownership can be transferred, for example by selling it or offering it as a gift. However, it should be noted that copyright assignments are valid only if it is in writing and signed by the owner or the owner's authorized agent. Otherwise, copyright transfer would be void. The right holder can also allow another person to use his copyrighted work by concluding a license agreement. This can be limited with regard to the duration, the territory, the conditions, etc. However, licenses cannot be regarded as a copyright assignment, as copyright ownership remains to the right holder. As a matter of fact, the rule requiring a signed writing by the right owner applies for license agreements as well. Application In this context, in the case where a photographer sells the picture that he took to another person, the act of selling does not change anything with regard to his copyright ownership. As no writing has been made between the copyright owner and the buyer, copyright ownership remains to the former copyright owner. This issue is clear evidence that a photograph owner and a copyright owner may be different persons. Consequences in our information era Nevertheless, the writing requirement of such a rule can create undesired consequences in our era where many people are often unaware of such risks, although of paramount importance. Indeed, the subject of copyright transfer has become capital thanks to the growth of the Internet, as within terms of service of websites and [...]

2018-02-15T02:11:02+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|

DIGITAL MANIPULATION OF IMAGES CAN MAKE YOU COPYRIGHT INFRINGERS

While the use of digital manipulation for altering images has now become common, it presents serious challenges to copyright protection. Indeed, altering images though Adobe Photoshop and other imaging programs, without permission, infringes the copyright owner’s exclusive right to adaptation.   Photoshop vs Copyright Nowadays, the number of images editing programmes is so huge that it is possible for anyone, not necessarily professionals, to manipulate digital images. This faculty does no longer only belong to professional graphic designers. In fact, altering digital pictures has become an everyday act and does not require great expertise. While Adobe Photoshop is the giant among imaging programs on the market, a diversity of other similar software exists. The principle behind these programs is to enable anyone to make a vast range of modifications to a photograph, ranging from few touch ups to the creation of major scenes which never occurred.   In practice In practice, digital images can be altered in many ways. Changes can be made by adding, moving or deleting elements, by changing the colours, the contrast or the brightness, by burning and dodging (respectively making parts of the image darker or lighter, for example to de-emphasise a background), by cropping a photograph, by reversing an image from left to right or horizontal to vertical, and so on.   Users have often no idea of the matter Digital manipulation on images is a an issue in the sense that it clearly infringes the copyright owner’s exclusive right to adaptation. A further problem is that most people have not the slightest idea that altering images protected by copyright, through Adobe Photoshop for example, make them potential copyright infringers.

2018-02-15T02:11:16+00:00February 21st, 2016|Non classé|