On the 8th of September 2016, the European Court of Justice announced its judgment in the GS Media case (C-160/15) concerning a case involving a website which on several occasions provided links to another website with unlawfully published photos of a famous person in the Netherlands. The main question in this case was if the provision on a website of hyperlinks to protected works that are freely available on another website was allowed without the consent from the copyright holder.
The European Court of Justice has stated that providing links in such a way may be allowed if the links are provided without the pursuit of financial gain by a person who did not know or could not reasonably have known the illegal nature of the publication of those works on the other website. On the contrary, if the links were provided with the pursuit of financial gain it must be presumed that the person in that situation had such knowledge. The court left open question about how “the pursuit of financial gain” shall be interpreted which raises new questions about practical interpretation of the European Court of Justice’s judgment.
If you have any questions regarding the practical interpretation of the judgment, please contact one of our lawyers.