eDate Advertising GmbH v X and Olivier Martinez and Robert Martinez v MGN Limited

Document type
Court Decision

This CJEU ruling applied an internal EU regulation, the Brussels regulation, to adjudicate the relative jurisdiction and powers of EU Member States in cases involving personality rights. It combined two cases. In eDate Advertising, a German claimant convicted of murdering a well-known actor in 1993 complained of an Austrian website that reported his name and conviction history. In Martinez, a French actor Olivier Martinez alleged infringement of the right to his image in a gossip article in a UK online news source. In both cases, defendants argued that national courts could not enjoin publication outside their jurisdictions.

The CJEU's Grand Chamber ruled,

"Article 5(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that, in the event of an alleged infringement of personality rights by means of content placed online on an internet website, the person who considers that his rights have been infringed has the option of bringing an action for liability, in respect of all the damage caused, either before the courts of the Member State in which the publisher of that content is established or before the courts of the Member State in which the centre of his interests is based. That person may also, instead of an action for liability in respect of all the damage caused, bring his action before the courts of each Member State in the territory of which content placed online is or has been accessible. Those courts have jurisdiction only in respect of the damage caused in the territory of the Member State of the court seised.

"Article 3 of Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (‘Directive on electronic commerce’), must be interpreted as not requiring transposition in the form of a specific conflict-of-laws rule. Nevertheless, in relation to the coordinated field, Member States must ensure that, subject to the derogations authorised in accordance with the conditions set out in Article 3(4) of Directive 2000/31, the provider of an electronic commerce service is not made subject to stricter requirements than those provided for by the substantive law applicable in the Member State in which that service provider is established."



Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Transnational Court
Type of service provider
Issues addressed
Limitation on Scope of Compliance (Geographic, Temporal, etc.)
Type of law