IP case law Court of Justice

Referral C-263/18 (Nederlands Uitgeversverbond and Groep Algemene Uitgevers, 16 Apr 2018)



Questions referred

Is Article 4(1) of the Copyright Directive 1 to be construed as meaning that ‘any form of distribution to the public by sale or otherwise of the original of their works or copies thereof’ as referred to therein includes making available remotely by downloading, for use for an unlimited period, e-books (being digital copies of books protected by copyright) at a price by means of which the copyright holder receives remuneration equivalent to the economic value of the work belonging to him?

If question 1 is to be answered in the affirmative, is the distribution right with regard to the original or copies of a work as referred to in Article 4(2) of the Copyright Directive exhausted in the Union, when the first sale or other transfer of that material, which includes making available remotely by downloading, for use for an unlimited period, e-books (being digital copies of books protected by copyright) at a price by means of which the copyright holder receives remuneration equivalent to the economic value of the work belonging to him, takes place in the Union through the rightholder or with his consent?

Is Article 2 of the Copyright Directive to be construed as meaning that a transfer between successive acquirers of a lawfully acquired copy in respect of which the distribution right has been exhausted, constitutes consent to the acts of reproduction referred to therein, in so far as those acts of reproduction are necessary for the lawful use of that copy and, if so, which conditions apply?

Is Article 5 of the Copyright Directive to be construed as meaning that the copyright holder may no longer oppose the acts of reproduction necessary for a transfer between successive acquirers of the lawfully acquired copy in respect of which the distribution right has been exhausted and, if so, which conditions apply?


Case details on the CJEU website (external link)


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