Linking to pirated content that is already available to the public can not be seen as copyright infringement under the European Copyright Directive. This is the advice Advocate General Melchior Wathelet has sent to the EU Court of Justice, in what may turn out to be a landmark case.
One of the key roles of the EU’s Court of Justice is to interpret European law to ensure that it’s applied in the same manner across all member states.
It ruled that links to copyrighted works are not infringing if the copyright holder published them in public, and the same is true for embedding copyrighted videos.
But what if a link points to content that is not authorized by the copyright holder? Would this still be allowed? According to EU Advocate General Melchior Wathelet, it is.
In his advice today the Advocate General acknowledges that the hyperlinks facilitate the discovery of the copyrighted works, and make them more easily available. However, this isn’t copyright infringement.
“…hyperlinks which lead, even directly, to protected works are not ‘making them available’ to the public when they are already freely accessible on another website, and only serve to facilitate their discovery,” the EU Court of Justice’s writes, commenting on the advice.
The Advocate General argues that “linking” is not the same as making the content available, which would apply to the original uploader.
source : torrentfreak.com/linking-to-pirated-content-is-not-copyright-infringement-160407/
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