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Digital Business Lawyer

AG Szpunar’s Opinion in VCAST Limited v. R.T.I. SpA

Earlier this month, Advocate General (‘AG’) Szpunar gave his Opinion on the preliminary reference made by the Court of Turin to the Court of Justice European Union (‘CJEU’) in the case of VCAST Limited v. R.T.I. SpA, C-265/16 (the ‘Opinion’). While not binding on the CJEU, the opinion of an Advocate General is followed in four out of five cases, and will therefore be taken as an early warning by those companies operating cloud based television recording services1. European terrestrial broadcasters and related copyright owners will be relieved to note that the AG considered the services being offered by VCAST Limited (‘VCAST’) to be in breach of Article 5, paragraph 2 (b) of Directive 2001/29/EC (the ‘Information Society Directive’), which, if followed by the CJEU, will restore some degree of comfort to traditional broadcasters who are already under mounting pressure to compete with digital operators operating within the confines of the law. Gregor Pryor and Alex Mackay of Reed Smith LLP, discuss AG Szpunar’s Opinion and the wider implications.

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