Mon dieu! What kind of legal chain of responsibility are Europeans establishing for online parties for possible copyright violations? The Versailles Court of Appeals has been instructed to enjoin Google from allowing its feature Google Suggest to offer up words like Torrent, Rapidshare and Megaupload. Because these words might direct users to websites with infringing content, the Court of Cassation has reversed decisions by the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeals rejecting the assertion that the French recording industry association, SNEP, that Google was facilitating copyright infringement.
The summer ruling was based on the French Intellectual Property Code (IPC), Articles L. 335-4 and L. 336-2. These sections prohibit copyright infringement; they do not discuss contributory infringement, which has led to both commentary on and criticism of the basis of the Court of Cassation ruling. The court also rendered another opinion on a different related matter, finding that online providers could not be subject to a general obligation of monitoring, based on a law putting in place an e-commerce directive.