Corte di Cassazione [Supreme Court], Third Criminal Section, Coolstreaming and Calciolibero, 33945/06

Document type
Court Decision
(1) Coolstreaming and Calciolibero facilitated access to soccer games, which were originally streamed by a Chinese broadcaster, by providing online information and links allowing viewers to connect directly to the Chinese servers.
(2) Initially, the first two levels of judicial review had denied any form of infringement of others’ exclusive rights through this conduct. However, the Italian Corte di Cassazione reversed.
(3) The Court construed indexing and linking as a contributory infringement because “undeniably, the defendants have aided and abetted, through the provision of a system of online guidance, the connection and synchronization to the sporting event; absent the defendants’ activities, the making available to the public of the protected works would not have occurred or would have occurred to a more limited extent.” In the Court’s view, the illegal conduct can be distinguished from, say, a common search engine because Coolstreaming and Calciolibero had come up with actions that causally determined the infringement by providing the users with an online guidance that made the infringement possible. In particular, the Court noted that such guidance included the provision of the necessary technical means to watch the sporting event, such as information on the software that the users had to download in order to watch the stream and links both to the software and the streamed event.
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Highest Domestic/National (including State) Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Weakens Immunity