ECJ sheds new light soon after Pinckney upon criteria for establishing jurisdiction in copyright transnational infringement matters

With its decision rendered on 3 April 2014 (Case C-387/12), the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled once again upon the issue of jurisdiction in relation to copyright infringement matters, only six months after the issuance of the Pinckney v KDG Mediatech judgment (3 October 2013, Case C-170/12).

In particular, the court caught the opportunity to clarify its position as to the most correct interpretation of the notion of ‘place of harmful event’ under article 5, point 3 of EU Regulation no. 44/2001, in order to establish jurisdiction in relation to transnational judicial controversies regarding the alleged infringement of copyright that may have touched, in some instances, the territories of more than one single member state.

The facts from which the case before the ECJ originated from came from judicial proceedings initiated in Germany by a local photographer, who had sued before a German court a French company that, according to his allegations, had unauthorisedly transferred the economic rights upon the use of his photographs to a further French company having in turn a subsidiary active in Germany. With respect to such case, the German Supreme Court remitted to the Court of Justice the question as to whether the ‘place of harmful event’ criterion could lead to establish the German jurisdiction vis-à-vis entities active in a different member country and/or with respect to damages originated or occurred in such different member country, eventually with the contribution of a German national…

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