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.
. . . .
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.
. . . .
“Despite the ruling, one cannot overstate how irrational this case was to begin with. It’s hard to believe the question at stake was whether browsing the Internet is legal or not,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, the Brussels director for the Computer & Communications Industry Association. “Even though the court has provided a clear answer to that question, one must wonder whether our copyright regime is apt for the digital era.”
Link to the rest at Ars Technica and thanks to Chris for the tip.
PG is definitely not an expert on European law, but this seems a strange case to have been brought in the first place.
Web browsers must certainly be the most common type of software in use around the world. Every computer, tablet and smartphone has a browser in it and (PG thinks) every browser does some sort of caching as a means of speeding up the web browsing experience.
The idea that a copyright holder which makes its content available on the internet in a form designed for viewing via a web browser does not consent to the technical means by which that browser operates to present content to the viewer is bizarre.