Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Connor Moran


The recent case Infopaq International A/S v. Danske Dagblades Forening decided by the Court of Justice for the European Union could influence businesses that summarize or aggregate content. Under this ruling, excerpts of copy-righted material unproblematic in the United States could invite liability if reproduced in European Union member states. In the United States, copying words or phrases only infringes a copyright where those words or phrases are particularly unique or core to the original work. By contrast, the European Union Information Society Directive provides an exclusive right to even partial reproductions. In the Infopaq case, the European Court of Justice read the Directive to apply to eleven-word sentence fragments so long as those fragments demonstrated the author’s intellectual creation. This article will examine the standards for copyright infringement of small sections of text in the United States and European Union after Infopaq.

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