Online copyright infringement: the Court of Justice rules on jurisdiction

On 3 October 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union, in case C-170/12, decided on the interpretation of article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters.

According to such rule, as an exception from the rule of general jurisdiction based on the defendant’s domicile, ‘a person domiciled in a member state may, in another member state, be sued: […] in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict, in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur’.

In particular, the Court of Justice ruled on whether, pursuant to such rule of special jurisdiction, the author of a copyrighted work may bring a claim for damages before the court for the place where he is domiciled, because of the online sale of a pirated CD through a website accessible in the country of his domicile…

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