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AG Opinion in Filmspeler: Copyright Directive’s exceptions and rights in the spotlight again

On 8 December 2016 Advocate General (‘AG’) Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona issued his advisory Opinion in Stichting Brein v. Jack Frederik Wullems, referred to as the Filmspeler case (C-527/15), a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) from the Dutch courts. The AG’s Opinion concerns a multimedia player that can stream content from third party websites via a TV connection. The player often came with pre-installed software featuring hyperlinks to third party websites where content could be streamed without rightsholder permission. The AG found that both sellers and users of the ‘filmspeler’ player infringe copyright. Robert Guthrie and Abby Minns of Osborne Clarke analyse the AG’s Opinion, how it fits with other recent case law in this area, and what it would mean for rightsholders should the CJEU follow the AG in this matter.

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