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2022 WIPO Intellectual Property Judges Forum

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Suprema Corte de Justicia de la República Dominicana, Sala Civil y Comercial [2017]: Allegro Resorts Dominicana S.A. c. Víctor Eduardo Saladi Meneses, sentencia No. 1668

This is an informal case summary prepared for the purposes of facilitating exchange during the 2022 WIPO IP Judges Forum.

 

Session 3:  Copyright and New Technologies

 

Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic, Civil and Commercial Chamber [2017]:  Allegro Resorts Dominicana S.A. v Víctor Eduardo Saladi Meneses, Case No. 1668

 

Date of judgment:  August 30, 2017

Issuing authority:  Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic, Civil and Commercial Chamber

Level of the issuing authority:  Final Instance
Subject matter:  Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights)

Plaintiff:  Allegro Resorts Dominicana, S.A. (Appellant)

Defendant:  Víctor Eduardo Siladi Meneses (Respondent)

Keywords:  Infringement, use without authorization

 

Basic facts:  Mr. Víctor Eduardo Siladi Meneses (“Respondent”) made a series of photographic works to promote the Punta Cana Beach Resort, including a photograph of a couple lying in a hammock on the beach (the “Photograph”).  The Photograph was used, without prior authorization, in an Internet site owned by Allegro Resorts Dominicana, S.A (“Appellant”) to promote the Allegro Beach Resort.

 

The Respondent filed a civil action for copyright infringement against the Appellant before the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the First Instance Tribunal (“Tribunal”).  The Appellant argued that it obtained the photograph from a public website and there was no indication of its author.

 

On December 19, 2000, the Tribunal found a copyright infringement due to the unauthorized use of the Photograph.  On February 6, 2001, the Appellant filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals.  On October 29, 2003, the Court of Appeals confirmed the first instance decision.

 

The Appellant appealed the decision before the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic (the “Supreme Court”).

 

Held:  The Supreme Court rejected the appealed and confirmed the copyright infringement.

 

Relevant holdings in relation to copyright and new technologies:  The Supreme Court held that the fact that the Appellant allegedly obtained the Photograph from a website in which there was no indication of its authorship, does not exempt it from obtaining prior authorization from the author to reproduce the Photograph.

 

 

Relevant legislation:

Article 54 of the Law No. 65-00 on Copyright