17th feb, 2012

Important copyright decision from the European Court of Justice

Yesterday the European Court of Justice made an important decision relating to social networks and copyright infringement in the case SABAM vs. Netlog. The court decided that “in the light of the requirements stemming from the protection of the applicable fundamental rights, must be interpreted as precluding an injunction made against a hosting service provider which requires it to install the contested filtering system.”
This means that as the host of a social network – in this case Netlog, but the ruling applies to other social networks as well – you are not required to filter the subscribers traffic to log copyrighted materials. The case was brought by the Belgian collectors society SABAM which represents copyright owners.
The court decided that the filtering requirement as proposed by SABAM did not respect “the requirement that a fair balance be struck between, on the one hand, the protection of the intellectual-property right enjoyed by copyright holders, and, on the other hand, that of the freedom to conduct business enjoyed by operators such as hosting service providers”.

So essentially the social networks are free of draconian surveillance requirements from the IP owners. Such measures has been very thing that has driven recent ACTA resistance. You should think that some of the news sites bringing negative ACTA stories would pick the story up…but of course they haven’t. Maybe it´s because it was only yesterday the ruling came out – and has since been quoted on most of the IP blogs I read. Maybe it´s because the ruling contradicts most of the disinformation about ACTA that is out there.

SABAM´s press statemet here

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