Thursday, November 24th 2011

European Court of Justice Ruling Prohibits P2P Filtering by ISPs

The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, ruled that P2P filters installed by ISPs violate the European Directive on electronic commerce as well as fundamental rights. The full ruling can be accessed here. This comes as a major blow to stingy ISPs who conserve and shed bandwidth in the name of checking peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, by somehow deeming that all P2P traffic consists of unlawful sharing of copyrighted content and software.

The ruling is part of a case filed by SABAM (Belgium's equivalent of RIAA), which sued ISP Scarlet for not filtering P2P traffic, and in the process, facilitating copyright infringement. A Brussels Lower Court then ordered Scarlet to install a filtering system to monitor the internet traffic of its subscribers. In response Scarlet appealed against the verdict in the European Court of Justice. Scarlet argued that a filtering system would be incompatible with the Directive on electronic commerce and with fundamental rights. The European Court of Justice ruled in agreement with Scarlet.

"In the present case, the injunction requiring the installation of a filtering system involves monitoring, in the interests of copyright holders, all electronic communications made through the network of the internet service provider concerned. That monitoring, moreover, is not limited in time," stated the Court of Justice, "Such an injunction would thus result in a serious infringement of Scarlet's freedom to conduct its business as it would require Scarlet to install a complicated, costly, permanent computer system at its own expense," it continued.

"What is more, the effects of the injunction would not be limited to Scarlet, as the filtering system would also be liable to infringe the fundamental rights of its customers, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their right to receive or impart information, which are rights safeguarded by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU," proceeded the Court.

"It is common ground, first, that the injunction would involve a systematic analysis of all content and the collection and identification of users' IP addresses from which unlawful content on the network is sent. Those addresses are protected personal data," the Court further clarified, stating "Secondly, the injunction could potentially undermine freedom of information since that system might not distinguish adequately between unlawful content and lawful content, with the result that its introduction could lead to the blocking of lawful communications." Source: OSNews
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18 Comments on European Court of Justice Ruling Prohibits P2P Filtering by ISPs

Editor & Senior Moderator
Many Thanks to Wyverex.
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Wow, if there is no overturned ruling on this, this could be a huge blow for the "anti-piracy" bureaucrats who like to think they have a god given right to try and force ISP's to spy on their customers in the name of copyright, here here to that ruling may it stand up cause this is good news for everyone who believes in freedom of speech and opposes censorship!
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ha, ha, ha !
Bastards should've stayed quite.
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Senior Monkey Moderator
1% of the population use 99% of the bandwidth.


It's nice to see a judgement in favor of open internet access from a governing body instead of "OMGWTFPIRATES"
Posted on Reply
Editor & Senior Moderator
Kreij, post: 2465731"
1% of the population use 99% of the bandwidth.
Yeah, because the other 99% is just using its bandwidth for Facebook and kitten videos on Youtube.

Nothing is stopping the 99% from getting that bittorrent client and um...downloading the latest Fedora Linux .iso file!
Posted on Reply
Senior Monkey Moderator
There are kitten videos on YouTube ?!?!? I am so there.

Thanks for the good news post Bta. :toast:
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Thank god we still have someone with some common sense and knowledge in the EU's top.
Posted on Reply
btarunr, post: 2465711"
SABAM (Belgium's equivalent of RIAA), which sued ISP Scarlet for not filtering P2P traffic, and in the process, facilitating copyright infringement
Great news, and I especially liked this bit. It's like suing the Highways Agency because they don't automatically block thieves in getaway cars :laugh:.
Posted on Reply
When I read this in the morning, it made my day :)
Posted on Reply
This is great news! :)
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I must be dreaming.... :respect:
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its good to hear however, as i use torrents to trasnfer files between myself and friends all the time. its an extremely robust system that doesnt suffer dropouts/disconnects like HTTP or FTTP, and the more people who want the file, the faster it gets.
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Mussels, post: 2465929"
the more people who want the file, the faster it gets
That's what it's all about, but some people still don't get it. Best news of the year. :)
Posted on Reply
Mr McC
Politicians representing the interests of the voting public rather than the interests of corporations? What is the world coming to?
Posted on Reply
Overclocked quantum bit
This is a great moment for common sense against corporate corruption and greed!

Expect the EU court to reverse its decision in a week...
Posted on Reply
this news made my day

I hope it doesnt get overturned
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