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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has sided with the Dutch antipiracy group Stichting Brein in a case concerning the sale of a multimedia player that enables copyright-protected audiovisual content to be viewed for free.


  • The defendant was an online retailer of a multimedia player that contained open source software that enabled video files to be played through an interface. The court decided that the multimedia player enabled a communication to the public of audiovisual content as described in the 2001 European Copyright Directive and so breached European law.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains an ECJ ruling on the case referred by a Dutch district court on the legality of selling media players that allow for the viewing of illegal content.
  • Assesses the ECJ decision and evaluates the implications for other sellers of media players.

Key questions answered

  • Why did the ECJ back the Dutch antipiracy unit?
  • What is the next step in the case?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Open source media players under the piracy spotlight
  • European court rules against media player seller
  • No right of reproduction exemption


  • Author

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