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The European Court of Justice has published its ruling in a case involving the resale of secondhand e-books.


  • Two Dutch book publisher associations first filed a claim against an e-book reseller in 2014. The associations claimed that the offering of secondhand e-books was an unauthorized communication of those books to the public, as determined by the Copyright Directive.
  • The reseller argued that its activities were covered by the distribution right, which was subject to a rule of exhaustion if the e-book was sold in the European Union by the rights holder or with their consent.

Features and Benefits

  • Details the case referred by a court in The Hague to the European Court of Justice.
  • Explains why the court ruled in favor of the Dutch book publisher associations.

Key questions answered

  • What questions were referred to the European Court of Justice by the court in the Hague?
  • Why did the European court rule in favor of the publishers?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • The very physical world of content resale
  • Europe gets its own ReDigi moment
  • CJEU rules downloading is communication to the public


  • Author