Click Here for Svensson linking decision update (without being sued for copyright infringement)

Click Here for Svensson linking decision update (without being sued for copyright infringement)

Nils Svensson v Retriever Sverige AB   - Case C-466/12

Let’s play the word association game.  I say ‘THE INTERNET’.  Odds are you’ll say… ‘LINKING!’?

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Following the decision in the Svensson case, you can be ‘hyperlink happy’ because the CJEU has delivered a sensible judgment that means that, largely, hyperlinks will not have to be licensed where protected works are freely accessible on another site.

What is the Svensson case about?

Press articles written by several Swedish journalists were published on a website freely accessible to the general public. A Swedish company, Retriever Sverige, operating a website providing its clients with clickable hyperlinks to articles published on other websites, included hyperlinks to these press articles without permission.  The CJEU was asked to decide various questions on linking, including whether linking constitutes a ‘communication to the public’.

What did the CJEU decide?

  • Providing clickable links to protected works constitutes ‘making available’ and therefore an act of communication
  • BUT the communication must be directed at a new public (a public not taken into account by the copyright holders at the time the initial communication was authorised) to trigger the protection of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29
  • There is no such ‘new pub

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