When considering legal action regarding material which is on the Internet, often one of the most difficult questions one has to face is that of where the material is ‘made available’. Since a website can be physically situated anywhere, where ‘is’ the website?
In a recent case, the court made a preliminary ruling that the place a website ‘makes available’ its content is the place where the website’s server is located.
The ruling has implications for anyone wishing to take action against a website owner. It also begs the question as to where the appropriate ‘place’ would be were the website hosted ‘on the cloud’ – would it be any of the various servers that hold the site or none of them?
The case has since been appealed by both sides, and a referral to the European Court of Justice has been made for clarification of certain points, so watch this space!