Today, the European Court of Justice ruled that Dutch news website GeenStijl violated European copyright laws by hyperlinking to leaked Playboy photos. The Court ruled on fundamental questions about the nature of copyright protection online.
Dutch Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66): "The ruling raises many questions. When does an internet user earn money by posting links? Do you ahve to check the copyrighted status of every page you link to when you earn directly or indirectly money with you site? When does someone know that a link refers to a page that violates copyright? The ruling shows clearly that we have to work on modern copyright legislation in Europe, adapted to the digital reality of today. Websites linking to each other is a fundamental part of the infrastructure of the Internet. Any measure that interferes with this mechanism must be met with caution."
New copyright proposals
Next week, the European Commission will present its plans to reform the EU's copyright framework. Based on earlier leaked draft proposals Schaake is not impressed. Schaake calls for more legal clarity throughout the European Union via a broad harmonization, and more exceptions in the public interest so that schools and libraries can fulfil their role to the fullest and can provide access to information.
Schaake has been working on modernising copyright in Europe since 2008.