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eDate Advertising GmbH v. X, and Martinez v. MGN, Ltd.

Joined Cases C-509/09 and C-161/10, CELEX: 62009CJ0509 (2011)

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eDate Advertising GmbH v. X, and Martinez v. MGN, Ltd.

European Union Court of Justice

Joined Cases C-509/09 and C-161/10, CELEX: 62009CJ0509 (2011)

Facts

The Germany Federal Court of Justice and the Paris Regional Court each referred questions about jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling. The two cases were joined for consideration by the ECJ because they referred similar questions about how to apply prior caselaw concerning jurisdiction in newspaper defamation cases to cases involving defamatory content disseminated on the internet. In the German case, X (plaintiff) was a German national who was convicted of a crime and appealed the conviction. X sued Austrian company eDate Advertising GmbH (eDate) (defendant) in Germany for publishing information about the crime online that revealed X’s identity before the appeal concluded. X sought an injunction prohibiting eDate from reporting his identity. eDate objected, arguing that German courts did not have jurisdiction. The lower courts ruled in favor of X, finding Germany could properly exercise jurisdiction. eDate appealed to the German high court, which referred the jurisdictional questions to the ECJ. In the French case, the United Kingdom’s Sunday Mirror publication stated on its website that French actor Oliver Martinez (plaintiff) was dating a previous girlfriend again and described a meeting they had. Martinez sued the publisher of the Mirror, MGN Ltd. (defendant), in France for interference with his private life. MGN argued that France lacked jurisdiction, and, on appeal, the French high court referred questions on jurisdiction to the ECJ.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cruz Villalón, J.)

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