VG Media filed an action for damages against Google in the Landgericht Berlin for allegedly infringing the copyrights of its members.
VG Media argued that since 1 August 2013, its search engine and automated news site, Google News, had used press snippets of its members without paying any fees.
The Landgericht Berlin had doubts as to whether VG Media could rely on the relevant German legislation, which came into force on 1 August 2013 and is intended to protect press publishers, vis-a-vis Google.
This regulation prohibits only commercial operators of search engines (and commercial providers of services that process content accordingly), press products or parts thereof (except individual words and smallest text excerpts) make it publicly available.
The Landgericht Berlin therefore sought to know from the ECJ whether that legislation constituted a ‘technical provision’ within the meaning of Directive 98/34 on standards and technical provisions which, as such, should have been communicated to the Commission in order to put an action against the individual. to be able to become a
The ECJ held that today that the standard constituted a provision relating to information society services and therefore a ‘technical provision’. It is specifically aimed at the services in question, since it appears to be intended to protect press publishers against infringements of copyright by online search engines. In this context, protection against systematic violations of the works appears to have been deemed necessary only.
However, in so far as such a system is specifically aimed at information society services, the draft technical provision must be forwarded in advance to the Commission. If this is not done, an individual may claim that it is inapplicable.
So it looks bad for VG Media to assert its billion-dollar claim against Google.