Advocate General ECJ allows borrowing e-books similar to ordinary books

Jun

17

2016

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar Thursday in a recommendation made to the European Court of Justice that the lending of e-books by libraries under the same rules must fall if the lending of paper books. The Court follows this kind of advice generally on.

Sweex eBook Reader In the opinion Szpunar explained that the European rules that apply to the lending of books should also apply to e-books. He motivates to make this conclusion that the legislature could not consider at the time of the writing of the law with the commercial exploitation of e-books, because the technology was still in its infancy. The law should be so construed according to the Advocate General, that it moves with the times.

He added that the main objective of copyright is to protect the interests of the author. At present, e-books lent on the basis of licenses, which are mainly publishers and intermediaries benefit. By e-books with regard to set the lending equivalent to paper books may eventually charge more flow to the author.

The Court examines the case because the court in The Hague in 2014 several questions to the European court asked about the interpretation of EU law. He did this in the case between the Association of Public Libraries and Lending Rights Foundation, where the libraries believe that e-books are seen as paper books.

Borrowing works on the basis of a system in which a borrowed e-book is not by borrowing another and is available for a limited period for the borrower. After the expiry of this period, the book is back by borrowing others. Dutch libraries started in 2014 with the lending of e-books.

It is not yet clear when the Court will make a final decision.

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