Article 17 - Right to property
Article 47 - Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesgerichtshof.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Copyright and related rights — Internet video platform — Uploading of a film without the consent of the rightholder — Proceedings concerning an infringement of an intellectual property right — Directive 2004/48/EC — Article 8 — Applicant’s right of information — Article 8(2)(a) — Definition of ‘addresses’ — Email address, IP address and telephone number — Not included.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Fifth Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 8(2)(a) of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights must be interpreted as meaning that the term ‘addresses’ contained in that provision does not cover, in respect of a user who has uploaded files which infringe an intellectual property right, his or her email address, telephone number and IP address used to upload those files or the IP address used when the user’s account was last accessed.
3) Recitals 2, 10, 15 and 32 of Directive 2004/48 are worded as follows:
‘(2) … [the protection of intellectual property] should not hamper freedom of expression, the free movement of information, or the protection of personal data, including on the Internet.
(10) The objective of this Directive is to approximate legislative systems so as to ensure a high, equivalent and homogeneous level of protection in the Internal Market.
(15) This Directive should not affect … Directive 95/46/EC of 24 October 1995 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data [(OJ 1995 L 281, p. 31)] …
(32) This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, this Directive seeks to ensure full respect for intellectual property, in accordance with Article 17(2) of that Charter.’
35) In that regard, it is true that the right to information, provided for in Article 8, seeks to apply and implement the fundamental right to an effective remedy guaranteed in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and thereby to ensure the effective exercise of the fundamental right to property, which includes the intellectual property right protected in Article 17(2) of the Charter (judgment of 16 July 2015, Coty Germany, C‑580/13, EU:C:2015:485, paragraph 29), by enabling the holder of an intellectual property right to identify the person who is infringing that right and take the necessary steps in order to protect it (see, to that effect, judgment of 18 January 2017, NEW WAVE CZ, C‑427/15, EU:C:2017:18, paragraph 25).
37) Additionally, it should be noted that Directive 2004/48 is intended to establish a fair balance between, on the one hand, the interest of the holders of copyright in the protection of their intellectual property rights enshrined in Article 17(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and, on the other hand, the protection of the interests and fundamental rights of users of protected subject matter, as well as of the public interest (see, by analogy, judgments of 29 July 2019, Funke Medien NRW, C‑469/17, EU:C:2019:623, paragraph 57; of 29 July 2019, Pelham and Others, C‑476/17, EU:C:2019:624, paragraph 32; and of 29 July 2019, Spiegel Online, C‑516/17, EU:C:2019:625, paragraph 42).