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Respect of family life cannot be abused to trump copyright protection, says AG Szpunar

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Respect of family life cannot be abused to trump copyright protection, says AG Szpunar

Postby MrFredPFL » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:31 pm

Story :

While it is true that Member States retain significant freedom in devising relevant procedures for repressing copyright infringements and awarding damages, Article 8 of the InfoSoc Directive requires resulting sanctions and remedies be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. This provision is in line with what also Article 3 of the Enforcement Directive mandates.

In this sense, the question that arises – and has actually arisen – is whether it is compatible with EU law to provide that the owner of an internet connection, through which copyright infringements have been committed, may escape liability thereof by indicating, without the need to provide any further details, a family member that has also had access to such connection.

In a nutshell, this is the issue at stake in Bastei Lübbe C-149/17, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the District Court Munich I (Germany) arisen in the context of litigation between Bastei Lübbe, a German phonogram producer, and Michael Strotzer, the owner of an internet connection through which an infringement was committed in 2010.

The latter submitted that he had not committed the infringement himself and that his internet connection was sufficiently protected. He also argued that his parents, with whom he lived, also had access to the connection but, as far as he was aware, they had not committed the infringement either. Following dismissal of Bastei Lübbe’s action at first instance on grounds that the defendant could not be deemed to have committed the relevant infringement, the case reached the District Court Munich I.

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