An Italian broadcasting company, successfully brought a claim for copyright infringement against an Italian media conglomerate for extracts of videos posted on a newspaper's website.
The Italian Court considered exceptions to copyright infringement which include reporting and criticism/review did not apply to the posting of the video extracts. The Court noted that the exceptions to copyright infringement are unique and must be considered in the wider context of the exclusive right of a copyright owner to prevent others copying their work.
In respect of the exception for reporting current events, which may typically be considered to apply to written articles, the court noted that this should relate to "news having an economical, political or religious character". The video extracts related to entertainment TV programmes and, further, the original TV programmes were available for a significant period of time in their entirety on the Claimant's own website. The Court ruled that copyright infringement had occurred and the exceptions from copyright infringement were deemed not to apply.
The Defendant was ordered to pay Euro 250 in damages, the ruling confirming that the exceptions to copyright are likely to be interpreted narrowly by the Italian courts, despite the possible benefits of increased exposure for the programme owners resulting from extract links on news website.
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