EU Court: Not-For-Profit Hyperlinking Usually Not Copyright Infringement

A ruling from the European Court of Justice has clarified when the posting of hyperlinks to infringing works is to be considered a ‘communication to the public’. Those who post links to content they do not know is infringing in a non-commercial environment can relax, but for those doing so during the course of business the rules are much tighter.In 2011, Dutch blog published an article linking to leaked Playboy photos which were stored on file-hosting site FileFactory.After filing a request with Filefactory, Playboy publisher Sanoma managed to have the photos removed from the platform. However, GeenStijl continued to find other sources for the photographs and linked to them instead. Sanoma said that this was an infringing act. see:Hyperlinking decision “strikes a fair balance” but will create burden for some online businesses
The European Court of Justice has ruled that posting a hyperlink to works protected by copyright and published without the author’s consent does not automatically constitute a ‘communication to the public’, as long as the person posting the link does not seek financial gain and acts without knowledge that those works have been published illegally.

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