Request for a preliminary ruling concerning the display of press products by commercial search engines

Print this page 07-09-2017
IP10061

Case C-299/17, VG Media. Request for a preliminary ruling. Landgericht Berlin - Germany

Copyright. Applicant (VG Media) is a company which exercises the rights of §87f of the German Copyright Law of holders of related rights in digital publishing against users. On 1 August 2013 the so-called related right for newspaper publishers in the German Copyright Law came into force. The bill was not submitted for the notification procedure in accordance with Directive 98/34/EG.

 

Applicant closes an "exercising agreement television, radio, publisher" with the rightholders, under which the rightholders' rights and claims on their press products in the meaning of the German Copyright Law (online, not in print) are exclusively excercised by the applicant. Depending on what type of agreement is signed, this concerns the right to share press products with the public by means of commercial search engines and/or the right to share press products with the public by means of services that edit content in a similiar way.

Applicant contends that defendant Google has used so-called snippets and photo's from applicant's members in the past for their own services without paying a fee. Applicant therefore files a claim to determine the damages for the use of these snippets, photo's, moving images in Google's search results and news listings since 1 August 2013. In addition the a claim for more information and the damages are filed.

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Request for a preliminary ruling:
 

1. Does a national provision which exclusively prohibits commercial operators of search engines and commercial providers of services, but not other commercial users, who edit content or parts thereof (with the exception of separate words and very short fragments of text) and make this content available to the public, in accordance with Article 1, paragraphs 2 and 5 of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (in the version of Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 July 1998) constitute a rule which does not specifically concern the services therein, and if that is not the case,

 

2. does a national provision which exclusively prohibits commercial operators of search engines and commercial providers of services, but not other commercial users, who edit content or parts thereof (with the exception of separate words and very short fragments of text) and make this content available to the public constitute a techincal regulation as defined in Article 1, paragraph 11, of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (in the version of Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 July 1998), namely a requirement which must be followed and concerns a service provision.