Expensive infringement

The European Commission has found itself in trouble for infringement of copyright and misuse of confidential information in its machine translation software and has been ordered by the EU General Court to pay damages of 12 million Euros. The case resulted from the Commission’s call for tenders for the maintenance and linguistic enhancement of the system. The copyright owner considered the Commission had unlawfully disclosed its know-how to a third party and copyright infringement occurred when unauthorised development of the system was carried out by the successful contractor. By granting the right to carry out work which altered the original version of the software, without first obtaining consent, the Court held that the Commission had acted unlawfully.

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