CJEU Advocate General suggests adoption of new 'causal event' jurisdiction criterion for online copyright infringement cases

On 11 September 2014, Advocate General (AG) Cruz Villalón released his Opinion in Case C-441/13, Pez Hejduk v EnergieAgentur.NRW GmbH, a reference for a preliminary ruling from Austria, seeking clarification as regards matters of private international law in online copyright infringement cases.

After reviewing all the possible jurisdiction criteria developed by the CJEU, ranging from the criterion of the 'centre of interests' to that of the 'intention to target', the AG decided that these could not be followed, and that a new ‘causal event’ jurisdiction criterion should be adopted, because in the event of “delocalised” damages over the internet, “the best option is to exclude the possibility to sue before the courts of the Member State where the damage occurred and reserve instead the competence to the judges of the Member State in which the causal event occurred”.