ULOZ.TO VERSUS CINEMART. DISTRIBUTOR WINS DISPUTE OVER ŠARLATÁN MOVIE DOWNLOADS IN COURTS
Film distributor CinemArt has won another round of litigation against Ulož.to. It concerned Šarlatán movie, which Ulož.to was offering for illegal online viewing in 2020. CinemArt subsequently blocked everything through a preliminary injunction through the court. However, Ulož.to then sued and claimed damages. The city court has now rejected its claim.
The latest judgment is not yet final. According to it, Ulož.to is to pay CinemArt's legal costs as well.
Lawyers of Uloz.to cloud, a. s., otherwise demanded about 800 thousand crowns from CinemArt in this part of the case. They justified the amount on the grounds that the company was forced by the court to refrain from allowing any digital downloads of the Šarlatán movie because of the distributor, thus incurring large costs.
Specifically, this included, among other things, having to hire people to search for files with the word "Šarlatn" / "Charlatan" in them, review them, or block them. According to Ulož.all this was done over many months.
CinemArt has long rejected the counterparty's demand for any compensation. It insisted that the image was and is offered illegally on the Ulož.to website and the court's decision to block everything was correct, complying with Czech and European law. He also pointed out that the distribution of films is not a cheap affair and it is customary to pay those who own the copyright to watch them.
The battle over interpretation
After the first decision of the City Court - i.e. after December 2020 - the High Court in Prague intervened in the "Šarlatán" / "Charlatan" case, which in turn upheld the position of Ulož.to, which is generally based on the right to freedom in the online space.
On procedural grounds, the High Court overturned the City Court's decision, stating that similar cases must be better and more precisely formulated in the future.
It was on the basis of this legal opinion that Ulož.to subsequently sued CinemArt for the aforementioned sum of eight hundred thousand.
The Šarlatán movie is otherwise still available for download. "Independently of the latest court decision, the litigation regarding this illegal offer continues. We continue to seek an end to this illegal activity," said CinemArt spokesman Petr Slavik, adding that a final decision "will be a long time coming".