CJEU Rules on Web Browsing and Copyright
17 November 2016
CJEU rules that web browsing doesn’t infringe copyright, but what about unauthorised streaming?
In last week’s highly anticipated ruling in the so-called “Meltwater” proceedings (Case C‑360/13 PRCA v Newspaper Licensing Agency) the Court of Justice of the EU has held that the temporary copying of content into computer memory to facilitate internet browsing is lawful. In conjunction with the CJEU’s ruling in February that providing hyper-links to freely accessible copyright content is not unlawful, this judgment gives further judicial confirmation that processes fundamental to the efficient operation of the internet do not infringe copyright law.
The ruling removes another potential line of attack for publishers seeking to prevent third party aggregation or re-use of their freely available material. In addition, whilst not an issue in the case itself, the ruling raises an interesting question as to whether end-users can face any liability for streaming content placed on the internet without the rightholder’s consent.