The Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (High Court or Distrcit Court) gave its long awaited ruling yesterday in the Allostreaming matter.
Back in December 2011, a group of rights holders for cinematic works (producers and distributors) brought proceedings under Section L.336-2 of the French Intellectual Property Code (which implements Article 8 (3) of the 2001 EU Copyright Directive) seeking an order against ISPs and search engines to prevent access to the notorious Allostreaming website and related sites (which gave access via streaming to a multitude of works without proper authorization).
The Court found that the impugned websites did indeed infringe copyright (unauthorized communication to the public). It ordered the ISPs to implement the necessary measures to prevent access to a defined list of websites (for 12 months). The ISPs were ordered to do so by any efficient means and in particular by means of blocking the domain names. It ordered the search engines to take the necessary steps to prevent the appearance on their services of any result linking to the infringing websites (for 12 months). In both cases (ISPs and search engines) the Court noted that the plaintiffs could return to Court for an updated order in the event of a change in the circumstances (such as modified domain names).
The Court however rejected the plaintiffs' request that the costs associated with the blocking measures be borne by the ISPs and the search engines.
This decision, handed down just two days after the AG's opinion in the UPC Telekabel case, adds to the developing case law under Article 8 (3) of the 2001 EU Copyright Directive and Member States' implementing legislation.