The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared today that UK and European Internet users are not acting illegally when simply browsing copyrighted material online.

The equivalent of the USA’s Supreme Court established that users engaged in “Temporary acts of reproduction … which are transient or incidental” (Article 5.1 of the EU Copyright Directive) — such as files automatically copied to a Web browser’s temporary cache and displayed on screen — must not be considered to be making illegal copies. This ruling now applies throughout the UK and Europe.

Earlier this year the EU ruled that hyperlinking to public content is not illegal, and this new ruling seems like the other side of that coin.