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The European Court of Justice has ruled that the posting of a hyperlink on a website to works protected by copyright and published without the author's consent on another website does not necessarily constitute a communication to the public.


  • The Dutch Supreme Court had asked the ECJ for clarity in a case brought by Sanoma Media against GS Media, owner of the online news service GeenStijl. Sanoma had accused GeenStijl of repeatedly posting links to websites hosting unauthorized photos of the Dutch TV presenter Britt Dekker.

Features and Benefits

  • Details a ruling by the ECJ on whether it is legal or not to post links that point Internet users to copyright infringing content.
  • Explains the difference between to court's decision and an earlier opinion published by an advocate general.

Key questions answered

  • What has the ECJ decided are the criteria to determine if posting hyperlinks to media content is illegal or not?
  • What are the implications of the ruling for news services and search engines?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • The question of hyperlinks and a communication to the public
  • Profit-making and knowledge of copyright infringement
  • Major implications for content-linking services


  • Author

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