OPINION OF ADVOCATE GENERAL SAUGMANDSGAARD ØE delivered on 2 April 2020.
Case C‑264/19: Constantin Film Verleih GmbH v YouTube LLC, Google Inc.
The dispute concerns the refusal by YouTube and Google to provide certain information required by Constantin Film Verleih with regard to users who have placed several films online in breach of Constantin Film Verleih’s exclusive exploitation rights. More specifically, Constantin Film Verleih is asking YouTube and Google to provide it with the email addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses used by those users.
Constantin Film Verleih is a film distributor established in Germany.
YouTube, which is owned by Google and established in the United States, operates the internet platform with the same name.
In Germany, Constantin Film Verleih has exclusive exploitation rights in respect of the cinematographic works Parker and Scary Movie 5.
Between the months of June 2013 and September 2014, those two works were posted online on the ‘YouTube’ platform without Constantin Film Verleih’s consent. On 29 June 2013, the cinematographic work Parker was uploaded in its full-length version and in German under the username ‘N1’. It was viewed more than 45 000 times before it was blocked on 14 August 2013. During the month of September 2013, the cinematographic work Scary Movie 5 was uploaded in its full-length version under the username ‘N2’. It was viewed more than 6 000 times before it was blocked on 29 October 2013. On 10 September 2014, another copy of the second work was uploaded under the username ‘N3’. It was viewed more than 4 700 times before it was blocked on 21 September 2014.
In the light of the foregoing, I propose that the Court should answer the questions referred for a preliminary ruling by the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany) as follows:
Article 8(2)(a) of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘names and addresses’ set out in that provision does not cover, in respect of a user who has uploaded files which infringe intellectual property rights, the email address, the telephone number, the IP address used to upload those files or the IP address used when the user’s account was last accessed.
Accordingly, the Member States are not obliged, under that provision, to provide for the possibility, for the competent judicial authorities, to order that that information be provided in the context of proceedings concerning an infringement of an intellectual property right.