gamato banner


The website “” has been shut down few days ago by the Cybercrime Unit of the Greek Police and its administrator has been arrested for copyright infringement. A laptop PC and three storage hard drives have been seized in the website administrator’s residence, within the framework of a police investigation that took place on 18 October 2015.


The website "Gamato" was created in 2010, operated under various domain names offering hyperlinks to third-party websites. By means of these clickable links, users were able to watch through online video streaming foreign movies and series with Greek subtitles for free, without paying the respective copyright fees to the right holders. According to the Cybercrime Unit of the Greek Police, the website in question was very popular (est. 9.300.000 views per day) and very profitable for its administrators. Moreover, the estimated damages caused to the right holders by the activity of the “Gamato” website consist in 465.000.000 euros. However, the representatives of the website insist that their earnings were not very significant and that the daily traffic of the website was not exceeding 250.000 views.


The legal issue at stake is whether the mere provision of clickable links to protected works which are freely available on other websites is a copyright-infringing activity. The Court that will examine the Gamato case should take into consideration the relevant ECJ's case law and, in particular, the Svensson, Bestwater International and C More Entertainment AB v Linus Sandberg rulings, which interpret the meaning of the 'act of communication to the public' of art. 3 para. 1 of the Directive 2001/29/EC in the context of hyperlinks. 


In fact, according to these rulings, the mere provision on a website of clickable links (including framing hyperlinks) to works freely available on another website is in principle allowed, to the extent that the works are not communicated to a new public, different from the public of the original communication.


It should also be noted that the pending case before ECJ (C-160/15 GS Media v Sanoma) is expected to clarify whether the provision of hyperlinks to a another website where a protected work is placed without the copyright holder’s consent is a copyright infringement.