Intellectual Property » Top EU Court Finds Users Viewing Infringing Material Not Liable

Top EU Court Finds Users Viewing Infringing Material Not Liable

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July 23, 2014

In a landmark Internet copyright ruling last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that users who view content posted online in violation of copyright are not themselves liable for infringement. The ruling reinforced a UK Supreme Court decision that said it would hinder innovation to hold users responsible for the cache copying that all computers do automatically when websites are viewed online, Jeremy Blum, a partner at Bristows, explained to “In essence the CJEU was weighing up the rights of copyright holders with the ability of the Internet to continue to function properly based on current technologies,” Blum said. However, the decision will in effect protect users who seek out pirated material – so long as they do not download or upload the content, they will not be found in violation of copyright. “Rights holders would have hoped the CJEU would construe narrowly the exception so they could pursue those individuals who intentionally viewed infringing material,” Blum said. “Now their options are limited to pursue those who upload or make available the infringing content.”


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