Copiepresse runs aground at first instance

The IPKat has just heard from his friend Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg) that the copyright infringement action brought by Copiepresse, the Belgian newspapers' association, against the European Commission has been dismissed. Copiepresse alleged that the European Commission was infringing its members' copyright by linking to their articles, seeking a daily fine of 1 million euros (US$1.3 million) -- having already succeeded in a similar action against Google Inc. The Brussels Court of First Instance dismissed the claims, ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute at all: only a European Union court can review whether the EU's executive agency has infringed intellectual property law by posting links and snippets from articles on its websites. said the court:
"It's up to the applicant to go to the European courts which, if they found a violation by the European Communities of intellectual property rights, could order compensation".
Copiepresse is not going to give in without a fight, though. Said Margaret Boribon, the secretary general for Copiepresse: "We will appeal this decision to the Brussels court of appeal".
The IPKat is curious to see what happens next. He thinks that the Belgian court is right on the issue of jurisdiction, but remembers what happened when someone tried to sue the Commission before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities for infringing its trade mark when it adopted the euro sign. The result was not a pretty one.
Copiepresse runs aground at first instance Copiepresse runs aground at first instance Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, October 23, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. Why do you think the court was right on jurisdiction? If the copyright infringement took place in Belgium, using Belgian servers, why shouldn't the Belgian court have jurisiction? Are they claiming diplomatic immunity?

  2. Frankly, Copiepresse's judicial stunts seem as much hyperventilating.

    As a resident of Belgium, I surely wish the Belgian French-speaking press would adress its declining circulation rates by doing some effort to raise its abysmal quality, rather than try to bend copyright laws out of recognition to harass presumed infringers. It isn't as if their newspapers carried much original content, anyway.

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