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EU court cool on copyright enforcement by private companies

In Big Brother, Europe News on April 18, 2011 at 12:17 am

By Honor Mahony

In an opinion with significant implications for ongoing EU discussions on how to deal with online copyright infringement and internet piracy, an EU advocate general on Thursday said a Belgian internet provider cannot be forced by a national court to block users from illegally sharing music.

Pedro Cruz Villalon of the European Court of Justice argued that ordering an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to filter and block electronic communications in a bid to protect copyright in principle “infringes fundamental rights”.

In the opinion, normally endorsed in the final ruling by the court, the advocate general expressed concern about delegating legal responsibility for the fight against illegal downloading and suggested that any measure taken against internet users would be allowed “only if it were adopted on a national legal basis which was accessible, clear and predictable”.

He also said that if an ISP installs a filtering system, this would breach the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights on data protection and…

Original article…

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