You are here

CJEU decides on hyperlinking and copyright

In judgement C-160/15 of Sep 8, 2016, the European Court of Justice held that hyperlinks to protected works, which are freely available on another website without the consent of the copyright holder, are unlawful unless provided without the pursuit of financial gain by a person who did not know or could not reasonably have known the illegal nature of the publication of those works on that other website. If they are provided with the pursuit of financial gain knowledge of  the illegal nature of the publication must be presumed.

In his opinion, the Attorney General had argued that such hyperlinks would generally not constitute an act of ‘communication to the public’ regardless of any knowledge of an illegal nature of the publication on the other website.

The Court of Justice, however,  took a much more restrictve approach in favour of the right holders.

Full text of the judgment and the opinion of the Advocate General availbale at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?pro=&lgrec=de&nat=or&oqp=&dates=&lg=&language=en&jur=C%2CT%2CF&cit=none%252CC%252CCJ%252CR%252C2008E%252C%252C%252C%252C%252C%252C%252C%252C%252C%252Ctrue%252Cfalse%252Cfalse&num=C-160%252F15&td=%3BALL&pcs=Oor&avg=&page=1&mat=or&jge=&for=&cid=909693