Browsing the internet without downloading unlikely to infringe copyright

The Supreme Court has stated that the EU’s temporary copying defence to copyright infringement should apply to the acts of browsing the internet, caching browsed material and viewing material on screen, even where those acts are unauthorised by the copyright owner. Nevertheless, Lord Sumption, giving the court’s view, referred the issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a definitive answer. In particular, the Supreme Court will ask whether caching material for a period of time after the browsing session is completed interferes with a finding of temporary copying.

If the CJEU agrees with the Supreme Court’s view, it would mark a clarification of the ability of users to access temporarily online material, which may apply to other circumstances beyond mere browsing, such as aggregation.

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