Referral C-174/15 (Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken, 17 Apr 2015)
1. Are Articles 1(1), 2(1)(b) and 6(1) of Directive 2006/115 to be construed as meaning that ‘lending’ as referred to in those provisions also means making copyright-protected novels, collections of short stories, biographies, travelogues, children’s books and youth literature available for use, not for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage, via a publicly accessible establishment:
- by placing a digital copy (reproduction A) on the server of the establishment and enabling a user to reproduce that copy by downloading it on to his/her own computer (reproduction B), – in such a way that the copy made by the user when downloading (reproduction B) is no longer usable after a limited period, and
- in such a way that other users cannot download the copy (reproduction A) on to their computers during that period?
2. If Question 1 is to be answered in the affirmative: does Article 6 of Directive 2006/115 and/or any other provision of EU law preclude Member States from imposing on the application of the restriction on the lending right included in Article 6 of Directive 2006/115 a condition that the copy of the work made available by the establishment (reproduction A) must have been brought into circulation by an initial sale or other transfer of ownership of that copy within the European Union by the rightholder or with his consent within the meaning of Article 4(2) of Directive 2001/29?
3. If Question 2 is to be answered in the negative: does Article 6 of Directive 2006/115 lay down other requirements for the source of the copy (reproduction A) provided by the establishment, for instance the requirement that the copy was obtained from a lawful source?
4. If Question 2 is to be answered in the affirmative: is Article 4(2) of Directive 2001/29 to be construed as meaning that the initial sale or other transfer of ownership of material as referred to in that provision also means making available remotely by downloading, for use for an unlimited period, a digital copy of copyright-protected novels, collections of short stories, biographies, travelogues, children’s books and youth literature?
Case details on the CJEU website (external link)