Friday, June 06, 2014

European Court of Justice rules that internet browsing is not copyright infringement

The ECJ confirmed that the simple browsing of copyright material on a website will not infringe copyright and is the prior authorisation from the copyright owner not required, although reproduction takes place on the end user computer screen and in the internet cache of the computer's hard drive.
The Court ruled that on-screen and cached copies, made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website, satisfied the conditions in Article 5(1) of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/ECthat those copies must be temporary, transient or incidental in nature, and must constitute an integral and essential part of a technological process, as well as various conditions laid down in Article 5(5) of the of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC), and that they could therefore be made without the authorisation of the copyright holders.
Take note: browsing of copyright protected material is not the same as actually copying same and placing it somewhere else, whether for subsequent use or not.
The Court case: Public Relations Consultants Association v Newspaper Licensing Agency and others, Case C-360/13, 5 June 2014.

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