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Linking to publicly available material not infringement, CJEU rules

From: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:39:22 -0500
Message-ID: <52FCE72A.1080306@w3.org>
To: TAG <www-tag@w3.org>
Hi TAG,

This is a good decision for the Web, that linking to publicly available
material does not infringe the copyright holder's rights.

https://torrentfreak.com/hyperlinking-is-not-copyright-infringement-eu-court-rules-140213/

>From the decision, invoking the European right of "communication to the
public,"
<http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=147847&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=7778>
> 25      In the circumstances of this case, it must be observed that making available the works concerned by means of a clickable link, such as that in the main proceedings, does not lead to the works in question being communicated to a new public.
> 
> 26      The public targeted by the initial communication consisted of all potential visitors to the site concerned, since, given that access to the works on that site was not subject to any restrictive measures, all Internet users could therefore have free access to them.
> 
> 27      In those circumstances, it must be held that, where all the users of another site to whom the works at issue have been communicated by means of a clickable link could access those works directly on the site on which they were initially communicated, without the involvement of the manager of that other site, the users of the site managed by the latter must be deemed to be potential recipients of the initial communication and, therefore, as being part of the public taken into account by the copyright holders when they authorised the initial communication.
> 
> 28      Therefore, since there is no new public, the authorisation of the copyright holders is not required for a communication to the public such as that in the main proceedings.

--Wendy

-- 
Wendy Seltzer -- wseltzer@w3.org +1.617.715.4883 (office)
Policy Counsel and Domain Lead, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
http://wendy.seltzer.org/        +1.617.863.0613 (mobile)
Received on Thursday, 13 February 2014 15:39:34 UTC

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