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Advocate General offers his understanding of the right of distribution

Advocate General announced the Opinion in Case C-516/13 Dimensione Direct Sales and Labianca – a reference for a preliminary ruling from the German Bundesgerichtshof, seeking clarification of the right of distribution within Article 4 of the InfoSoc Directive.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is expected to answer the following questions:

– does the distribution right under Article 4(1) of [the InfoSoc Directive] include the right to offer the original or copies of the work to the public for sale?;
– [if the first question is to be answered in the affirmative] does the right to offer the original or copies of the work to the public for sale include not only contractual offers, but also advertising measures?;
– is the distribution right infringed even if no purchase of the original or copies of the work takes place on the basis of the offer?

In opinion of the Advocate General the Article 4(1) of the InfoSoc Directive must be interpreted in the sense that the right to distribution within the meaning of that provision includes the right of the copyright owner of the original or copies thereof to prohibit anyone from offering for sale to the public said original or the copies without his/her consent, provided that such offer displays a clear intention to conclude a contract that would involve the transfer of ownership over the original or the copies of a work.

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