Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 221 (Jan)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Communities (Grand Chamber)

Judges Skouris (President), Timmermans, Rosas, Lenaerts, Arestis and Lohmus (Presidents of Chambers), Borg Barthet, Ilesic, Malenovsky (Rapporteur), Klucka, Levits, Arabadjiev and Toader

Judgment Dates: 29 January 2008


European Community - Access to information - Obligations of providers of services - Retention and disclosure of traffic data - Obligation of disclosure - Limits - Protection of confidentiality of electronic communications - Compatibility with protection of copyright and related rights - Right to effective protection of intellectual property - Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2000/31 - Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2001/29 - Parliament and Council Directive 2004/48 - Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2002/58 - Charter of Fundamental rights of the European Union.

The Case

Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2000-31 (on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce in the Internal Market), Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2001-29 (on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society), Parliament and Council Directive 2004-48 (on the enforcement of intellectual property rights) and Parliament and Council Directive (EC) 2002-58 (concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector) did not require member states to lay down, in a situation which arose in the main proceedings of the instant case, an obligation to communicate personal data in order to ensure effective protection of copyright in the context of civil proceedings. However, Community law required that, when transposing those directives, the member states took care to rely on an interpretation of them which allowed a fair balance to be struck between the various fundamental rights protected by the Community legal order. Moreover, when implementing the measures transposing those directives, the authorities and courts of member states had not only to interpret national law in a manner which was consistent with those directives but also to make sure that they did not rely on an interpretation of them which would be in conflict with those fundamental rights or with the other general principles of Community law, such as the principle of proportionality.

Practice Areas

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