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Top EU court hedges on question of hyperlinking legality in Playboy case

Peter Sayer | Sept. 9, 2016
Linking to unlawfully published copyright images can be legal -- unless you profit from it, says top EU court

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), on the other hand, saw only bad news in the ruling. 

The lobby group, which counts Amazon.com, eBay, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo among its members, said the ruling was an attack on the freedom to hyperlink.

"Copyright has to be protected online. However, the Court's attempt to punish bad actors has made copyright law more complicated for everyone. In tune with the opinion of the Advocate General, we remain convinced that hyperlinks are better understood as mere road signs on our Internet highways. They should have nothing to do with copyright law. The Court missed the opportunity to clarify that once and for all," said Jakob Kucharczyk, director of CCIA Europe.

Meanwhile, the ball is back in the Dutch Supreme Court to make the final ruling in the case, based on the CJEU's judgment.

 

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