Case C-30/14, Ryanair – grounding a go compare an airfare website

Price-comparison websites in the EU are often lawful because the websites they take their information from are databases frequently unprotected by either copyright or the ‘sui generis’ right enshrined in the EU’s Database Directive 96/9/EC. This is true of Ryanair’s website. But Ryanair’s website is however protected by a plank of deviant Dutch ‘copyright’ law. In this case, a Dutch website that compares the price of airfares is seeking to rely on a Dutch exception to the Dutch ‘copyright’ rule, an exception that corresponds to one found in the EU’s Database Directive. The legal question has become whether the Directive applies to all databases and thus websites – even the unprotected ones – and, if so, whether the price-comparison website qualifies as a ‘lawful user’, who does not need to obtain Ryanair’s consent to use Ryanair’s website.

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Case C-521/11, Amazon – Austrian private-copy ‘fair compensation’ and EU copyright law

Is the private-copy levy system of Austrian copyright law compatible with the EC’s InfoSoc Directive 2001/29 when national law: (a) puts the levy on all blank recording-media irrespective of whether the media are marketed to intermediaries, to natural or legal persons and for use other than for private purposes; (b) offers refunds in some circumstances but not others; and (c), only pays authors half of the net ‘fair compensation’ monies collected and gives away the other half to Austrian cultural organisations?

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