On 8 September 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will issue its much-awaited decision in GS Media, C-160/15.
This is a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Dutch Supreme Court.
It was made in the context of proceedings between Sanoma (the publisher of Playboy magazine) and GS Media, concerning the publication by the latter on a website (GeenSijl) that it operates of hyperlinks to other websites hosting unpublished photographs taken for a forthcoming issue of Playboy.
Litigation ensued before Dutch courts and eventually reached the Supreme Court, which decided to stay the proceedings and seek guidance from the CJEU. The main question referred is whether the provision of a hyperlink to a work made available on a certain website without the initial consent of the relevant rightholder and where it is freely accessible is to be regarded as an act of communication to the public.
In his Opinion on 7 April 2016, Advocate General (AG) Wathelet answered in the negative, also holding that it is not important whether the person who posts on a website a hyperlink to another website on which copyright works are freely accessible to the public is or ought to be aware that the relevant rightholder has not authorised the initial communication. More generally, the AG suggested that linking should not fall within the scope of copyright protection.
• 5:30 Registration
• 6:00 Panel discussion
• 7:30 Drinks and canapés
The format will be that of an informal panel discussion, in which panelists and attendees alike will share their views and discuss relevant implications.
Moderated by Mark Brown (Bristows), the panel will feature Eleonora Rosati (University of Southampton and IPKat), Nicholas Saunders (Brick Court Chambers), and Theo Savvides (Bristows).