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Playboy’s hyperlink copyright infringement case undermined by top lawyer

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 8, 2016 | 1 min read

Playboy’s claim of copyright infringement against a website hosting hyperlinks to images of its photoshoot with Dutch TV personality Britt Dekker have been undermined after a top EU lawyer came out in support of the website, insisting it had not broken any law.

The GS Media owned blog GreenStijl had linked readers to an Australian site that was hosting the images back in 2011 but advocate general Melchior Walthelet decreed that simply linking without permission did not in itself constitute an act of copyright infringement.

Walthelet’s decision is not legally binding however and both parties must wait a little longer for a court ruling expected within the next few months.

Nevertheless prof Mireille van Eechoud of the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam said: "I think this is an important conclusion. Although [GeenStijl] facilitate access they don't actually have an indispensable role in the communication chain."

Should the court opt not to heed Walthelet’s guidance the case will revert to the Dutch supreme court for additional deliberations.

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