29 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Cloud-based recordings require rightsholder consent, says CJEU

Copies of TV programmes saved in the cloud must be authorised by the copyright holder, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled.

The court ruled in the case between video broadcasting company VCAST and Italian TV broadcaster Reti Televisive Italiane (RTI).

VCAST allows users to select a programme and time slot, which it then records and uploads to the cloud for the user to view.

VCAST had previously sought a declaration from the Turin district court in Italy of the lawfulness of its business, arguing that it invokes the private copying exception.

The Turin court provisionally suspended VCAST from its activity, submitting questions to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling, asking whether VCAST’s actions, without consent from rightsholders, was compatible with the copyright directive.

The CJEU ruled that when VCAST made protected works available online, it fell within the remit of a communication to the public. The copyright directive maintains that any communication to the public, including the making available of a protected work, requires the rightsholder's consent.

The court held that “such a remote recording service cannot fall within the private copying exception”.

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