CJEU on use of database by meta search engine

16-06-2021 Print this page
Auteur:
Nelisa de Bruin
IPPT20210616, CJEU, CV-Online Latvia v Melons

Indexing and copying to your own server of content substantial content of database is extraction and re-utilisation within the meaning of Article 7 Database Directive: which may be prohibited provided that it is depriving income from the person intended to enable him or her to redeem the cost of investment.

 

DATABASE RIGHTS

 

CV-Online is a company incorporated under Latvian law, which manages the website www.cv.lv. This site contains a database developed by CV-Online in which vacancies are published by employers. Melons is also a company incorpoated under Latvian law, which operates the website www.kurdarbs.lv. By means of hyperlinks, users of the site www.kurdarbs.lv are referred to the internet pages on which the information sought was originally published, including the CV-Online site. By clicking on the link, the user gains access to the website www.cv.lv. According to CV-Online, Melons infringes its right within the meaning of Article 7 of the Database Directive by 'extracting' and 're-utilising' a substantial part of the content of the database on the www.cv.lv site.

 

The referring court is asking, in essence, whether Article 7(1) and (2) of the Database Directive must be interpreted as meaning that an internet search engine specialising in searching the contents of databases, which copies and indexes the whole or a substantial part of a database freely accessible on the internet and then allows its users to search that database on its own website according to criteria relevant to its content, is ‘extracting’ and ‘re-utilising’ the content of that database within the meaning of that provision, and that the maker of such a database is entitled to prohibit such extraction or re-utilisation of that same database.

 

The CJEU answers this question as follows. Article 7(1) and (2) of the Database Directive must be interpreted as meaning that an internet search engine specialising in searching the contents of databases, which copies and indexes the whole or a substantial part of a database freely accessible on the internet and then allows its users to search that database on its own website according to criteria relevant to its content, is ‘extracting’ and ‘re-utilising’ the content of that database within the meaning of that provision, which may be prohibited by the maker of such a database where those acts adversely affect its investment in the obtaining, verification or presentation of that content, namely that they constitute a risk to the possibility of redeeming that investment through the normal operation of the database in question. It is up to the referring court to ascertain whether the contents of the database indicate a substantial investment and whether the retrieval or reuse entails the risk that the investment will not be recouped.

 

IPPT20210306, CJEU, CV-Online Latvia v Melons

 

ECLI:EU:C:2021:434