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    AXJ EUROPE : HIGHEST COURT MAKES FILE SHARING LEGAL IN EUROPE

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    AXJ EUROPE : HIGHEST COURT MAKES FILE SHARING LEGAL IN EUROPE

    Post  Admin on Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:14 am

    European Court Overturns Rule on Illegal File Sharing



    AXJ PARIS
    25-11-11

    According to Mr. Eric Pfanner of the New York Times, the highest court in the European Union the Court of Justice of Luxembourg has ruled that Internet Service Providers ( ISP ) can not be required to monitor their customer's online activity nor censor nor filter sharing of music or other copyrighted material.

    See the article below:

    By ERIC PFANNER

    Published: November 24, 2011

    PARIS — The highest court in the European Union said on Thursday that Internet service providers could not be required to monitor their customers’ online activity to filter out the illegal sharing of music and other copyrighted material.

    The ruling, by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, is a setback for a Belgian group representing music copyright owners, which had sought tougher measures to crack down on online file sharing.

    The organization, Sabam, had sued a Belgian Internet provider, Scarlet Extended, saying its customers were illegally sharing music files.

    Sabam had won a ruling in a Belgian court, which said Scarlet should have to install a system to filter out any unauthorized exchanges of songs on its own, not just in response to complaints from copyright holders.

    The court in Luxembourg said such a requirement would be disproportionate, adding that it would violate “the freedom to conduct business, the right to protection of personal data and the freedom to receive or impart information.”

    “E.U. law precludes an injunction made against an Internet service provider requiring it to install a system for filtering all electronic communications passing via its services, which applies indiscriminately to all its customers, as a preventive measure, exclusively at its expense, and for an unlimited period,” the court wrote.

    Lobbying groups for Internet service providers and for consumers hailed the decision.

    “This judgment sends a crystal-clear signal,” said Monique Goyens, director general of B.E.U.C., a Brussels group that lobbies for consumer rights. “Internet providers cannot be asked to police consumers’ use of the Web.”

    Malcolm Hutty, president of EuroISPA, a service providers’ lobbying group, added, “This ruling is of fundamental importance for the future of the Internet and the development of a strong digital single market.”

    The music industry shrugged off the implications of the decision. Other measures to curb illegal file sharing, including the blocking of Web sites that enable piracy and the cutoff of persistent file-sharers’ Internet connections, will not be affected, the industry’s international lobbying group said.

    “In this particular case, the court rejected the content-filtering measure presented by the Belgian court as too broad,” Frances Moore, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said in a statement. “However, this does not affect the forms of I.S.P. cooperation that I.F.P.I. advocates.”

    Indeed, a recent court ruling in Britain required an Internet provider, BT, to block access to a Web site called Newzbin2, which was found to have made pirated content available to customers.

    Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/25/technology/eu-court-rejects-call-for-isps-to-curb-illegal-file-sharing.html

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