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EU’S HIGHEST COURT FINDS SOCIAL NETWORKS CANNOT BE FORCED TO FILTER OR MONITOR FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Intellectual property holders (movie studios, record labels, etc.) have been supporting legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and others in the USA to make internet sites responsible for copyright infringement by their users. Efforts have also been made elsewhere in the world to find the balance between copyright protection and internet freedom. In the European Union, there is a 2001 EU copyright directive which allows IP holders to get injunctions against intermediaries who are being used to infringe on copy-protected material. Yet, there is also Article 15 of the EU e-Commerce Directive which prevents EU members from forcing ISPs to have a broad obligation to monitor their content.

SABAM is a collective of Belgian artists, authors, musicians, etc. SABAM sought an injunction against Scarlet, a Belgian ISP, to force them to install a filter that would prevent illegally copied music files from being transmitted. In November 2011, the EU Court of Justice, their highest court, ruled against the injunction. SABAM also brought suit against Netlog, which is a Belgian social networking site like Facebook, seeking a similar injunction. This month, the ECJ ruled against SABAM again. One important point was that privacy rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundmental Rights of the EU could be violated: the EU is very pro-privacy for citizens.

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About Nerds in Court

John G. Nowakowski, Esq. (LLMT), is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in California and Nevada. Christina R. Evola, Esq. is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law where her studies focused on intellectual property, antitrust, and media law. She is a lifelong gamer and avid cosplayer. DISCLAIMER: ‘Nerds in Court’ is for entertainment purposes only. Nothing should be construed as legal advice, or any advice for that matter, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading these posts. Do not consider information provided here as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney in your state.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “EU’S HIGHEST COURT FINDS SOCIAL NETWORKS CANNOT BE FORCED TO FILTER OR MONITOR FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

  1. The fight of copyright holders and privacy advocates will come in waves as society decides how much is enough when it comes to privacy and protecting the holder’s rights to their material being protected. There have been pushes on both sides legislatively and through the judicial system and the fight will continue because of the basic rights either action would help or hurt.

    Posted by Lulaine@RDLegalFunding | March 14, 2012, 10:27 am
    • There is no doubt that the shape of intellectual property rights is an important and red-hot topic that has deep ramifications. There are deep battles being fought on multiple fronts, often with compelling arguments on both sides. NiC will continue to try to do our best to break down these topics in an intelligible, meaningful, and hopefully entertaining manner for folks that take time to read what we have to say.

      Posted by Nerds in Court | May 23, 2013, 7:22 am

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