CJEU Advocate General opines on private copying exception

The Advocate General Szpunar of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a preliminary opinion in the case VCAST Limited v. R.T.I SpA, C-265/16 referred to CJEU by the Turin Court of First Instance. The case concerns the interpretation of EU law when a commercial undertaking (the UK company VCAST, a ‘video cloud recorder’) provides cloud-based recording services for its users without authorisation from the relevant rightholders (RTI, part of the Mediaset Group). In his Opinion, Szpunar offered an explanation of cloud computing and noted that the CJEU is asked to consider whether the private copying exception is applicable in a context in which the act of reproduction is not done directly by the beneficiary of the exception, since copying requires the intervention of a service provider. The remote video recording of private copies of different programmes aired around the world was done with the involvement of the commercial undertaking VCAST, rather than by users themselves and thus the private copying exception does not apply, Szpunar concluded. A final decision is expected from the CJEU in this case.