Football Dataco Ltd & ors v Sportradar GmbH & ors UK Court of Appeal asks ECJ to rule on crucial internet publishing jurisdiction issue

April 5, 2011 |

The Court of Appeal has asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to decide whether online publishing takes place where information is hosted or where it is read.

The Court of Appeal said that the UK courts have the right to hear the case over the German court because the UK case was filed first and that suit was not faulty in the way claimed by Sportradar.Sportradar claimed, though, that the case should be heard on the basis that the disputed live match information was published in Austria and Holland, where its servers are based. 

Football Dataco and the leagues argued that a transmission involves the sending and receipt of information, so that the receiving of it in the UK meant that any infringement of its database rights happened, at least in part, in the UK.

The High Court had used laws covering satellite television to determine that Sportradar was right, that it is the place where the information is sent from that is the place where any infringement occurs.  The Court of Appeal, though, said that “it was not appropriate for us to form our own view about this very important and difficult question”.

It has asked the ECJ to rule on what the law means when a company uploads material which is protected by the Database Directive from country A and that information is seen in country B. It has asked it would any infringement exist in country A, country B, or in both countries.

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