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EU The Courts The Internet Your Rights Online

Web Browsing Isn't Copyright Infringement, Rules EU Court of Justice 79

mpicpp (3454017) writes with this news from Ars Technica: 'Europeans may browse the Internet without fear of infringing copyrights, as the EU Court of Justice ruled Thursday in a decision that ends a four-year legal battle threatening the open Internet. It was the European top court's second wide-ranging cyber ruling in less than a month. The court ruled May 13 that Europeans had a so-called "right to be forgotten" requiring Google to delete "inadequate" and "irrelevant" data upon requests from the public. That decision is spurring thousands of removal requests. In this week's case, the court slapped down the Newspaper Licensing Agency's (NLA) claim that the technological underpinnings of Web surfing amounted to infringement. The court ruled that "on-screen copies and the cached copies made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website satisfy the conditions" of infringement exemptions spelled out in the EU Copyright Directive. The NLA's opponent in the case was the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). The PR group hailed the decision.'
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Web Browsing Isn't Copyright Infringement, Rules EU Court of Justice

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  • WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @05:06PM (#47175007)

    Why would the newspapers want it to be illegal to view their websites?

  • Copyright ending (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @05:17PM (#47175101) Homepage
    What we really need is some way to prevent congress from constantly extending copyright, slowly stealing from the public public works.
  • by mpicpp ( 3454017 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @05:31PM (#47175189)
    To argue that cache files in a web browser is infringement is as silly as claiming that your eye transmitting an image to your brain is infringement...
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @05:48PM (#47175279)

    They didn't. Or they didn't seem to think that's what they were doing.

    They wanted to be able to get higher revenues from certain client companies who pay licensing fees for the right to RE-produce the newspapers' contents on their own web sites, and/or who distribute it to secondary companies.

    As I glean it, those fees are based on the number of end-user copies that are being made. The newspapers wanted to count ... uh, hang on now, this is getting fuzzy. I guess they wanted to count the copies that existed in end-user browser caches as ADDITIONAL copies, so that the bottom line revenues would be higher. Or something. "Its main argument was the cost that the licensing public relations companies pay for the reproductions should factor in to what is temporarily copied on a reader's computer."

    Like I charge you per-copy for reading my paper, and I count the ink that rubs off on your hand as a copy. Also the reflection in your glasses.

    I don't get that it would prevent anyone from reading stuff from their website, because publishing the material would constitute a license to use it, browser cache included. It's strictly a grab for more revenues for this particular redistribution channel.

    Because, you know, revenue.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @06:03PM (#47175401) Homepage Journal

    Like I charge you per-copy for reading my paper, and I count the ink that rubs off on your hand as a copy. Also the reflection in your glasses.

    And there's also the copy from short-term to long-term memory that occurs in your brain when you read an article and actually remember it the next day. Soon they'll be quizzing readers about last-weeks news, and every correct answer means they can charge for the extra copy in your long-term memory.

    Lest you think this is a joke, remember that companies did try to claim that computer backups are legally "copies" that must be paid for to be legal.

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @10:29PM (#47176717) Homepage

    I recall that back in the day, when people started charging for computer software, it was treated as a book. If you paid for the book, it was yours and you could use it for whatever you want.

    Then someone came along and decided that copying the software from disk into memory was considered copyright infringement, and thus you needed a license to do so. Hence the software license and all its associated pain in the ass restrictions was born.

    So basically, these idiots are trying to use the same concept to add additional legal hurdles to simply browsing the web. At least this time, unlike back in the day with software, sanity ended up being victorious.

"If you can, help others. If you can't, at least don't hurt others." -- the Dalai Lama