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Norway's supreme court ruled that a student whose homepage was linked to free Internet music files must compensate the music industry. The around 170 links to mp3s will cost its creator $15,900. In a summary of its ruling, the supreme court said the music was clearly published in violation of copyright law. Links & Law has already reported about the case (see Update 26). The lawyer representing the defendant commented on the decision as follows:


"The disputed deeplinking to illegal uploaded mp3-files on the Internet caused (note: with reference from the Norwegian Supreme Court to the German Supreme Court in the Paperboy-verdict from 2003) no separate infringement of the copyright owners right to communicate the work to the public. However, the disputed deeplinking was considered as assistance to (illegal) communication to the public. Therefore, the defendant was sentenced to pay NOK 100.000 in compensation to the plaintiffs. But, the defendant was not ordered to pay costs. Consensus: From now on, current law here in Scandinavia is as follows: Regardig to copyright law, deeplinking to legal internet files is legitimate. Interpretation of consent is not necessary. But, deeplinking to evidently illegal internet files can be considered as assistance to breach of copyright law. Simultaneously, deeplinking to illegate internet files can be considered as unfair competition regarding to the general clauses in the Scandinavian Competition laws."



Text of the Decision (Norwegian). English translation coming soon!




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