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Google cache is legal in Spain – Spanish Supreme Court, 3 April 2012, The v Google Spain case (N. 172/2012)

Gemma Minero Alejandre

Keywords: copyright; exceptions; transient or incidental copies; fair use; cached links; search engines

This review analyses the recent Spanish Supreme Court decision Megakini v Google. The long-awaited ruling tries to balance the interests of copyright owners and Internet operators in the digital era. However, in doing so both the Supreme Court and the Barcelona Provincial Court follow the fair use doctrine, and complement it with some good faith considerations – the so-called ius usus inoqui principle. Thus, although the result tries to stress the importance of analysing the flexibility of fair use in light of new circumstances, the Spanish courts have created a new exception and have done so by applying foreign law (§107 of the US Copyright Act). The Spanish legislator is currently discussing the Copyright Act reform. It remains to be seen whether the Spanish legislator will take the Supreme Court's ruling into consideration.

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