EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block Copyrighted Material, Users

February 16, 2012 -

Social networks can't be forced to police their services for copyrighted material or block users, according to a new ruling from Europe's highest court. The court said that it could not be forced to these things because that burden would drive their costs up and infringe on users' privacy. The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled on a case involving two Belgian companies at odds over copyright infringement: a music royalty collecting society called SABAM and the online social network Netlog. SABAM had asked a Belgian court in 2009 to force Netlog to stop its users from illegally downloading songs from the society's portfolio. The Belgian judges inevitably sought advice from the Luxembourg court. Things didn't turn out for the rights holder in this case.

"The owner of an online social network cannot be obliged to install a general filtering system, covering all its users, in order to prevent the unlawful use of musical and audio-visual work," the ECJ said in a statement. "Such an injunction would result in a serious infringement of Netlog's freedom to conduct its business since it would require Netlog to install a complicated, costly, permanent computer system at its own expense," it said. Judges also noted that forcing a company to install a filter to "identify, analyze and process users' personal information" might infringe on their privacy rights and could result in the blocking lawful content.

In a separate case last year, the ECJ dismissed a bid by SABAM to get Scarlet, a division of Belgian ISP Belgacom, to stop its users from downloading illegal songs.

Source: Technology Spectator


Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

better reinstate megaupload then.

isn't that why they were taken down? not policing their services?  


okay i know, they also kind of roundabout promoted that too, but still, this falls pretty close to them for what i know. Please correct if wrong though, i admittedly haven't read all of the info regarding them (i actually always HATED their service, especially when people would store things i wanted there such as mods and whatnot :/ I always looked for a mirror, MU was just SLOW in getting things off of.)

Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

No, the claimed reason MegaUpload was taken down by the FBI, which isn't Europe but USA, is DELIBERATE copyright enfringement from the site itself.

Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

But how is it that the FBI is arresting people in OTHER COUNTRIES, where their laws would protect them to begin with?

the FBI is an AMERICAN organization (that can't even catch the pirates on capital hill it seems, let alone half the other criminals they let go in favor of harassing the public and other countries.), and it follows American law. The net isn't an american property, and american laws can only dictate so much based on local users and hosts, not foreign.

Also, i thought MU just hosted, not posted, the content. Or did the sites staff personally put up the content? as i said, i don't know all the details.

Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

US managed to have the owners arrested since MU was stupid... They had an office in USA, thus being under US jurisdiction. That should teach companies to stay the eff out of the US.   lol

With an online world, who needs an office in the US anyways? If you need servers or similar running, just outsource it to a 3rd party stationed in the US.

Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

Part of what I read was claims that the officials of the company had sent each other messages bragging about deliberately delaying copyright-claims to keep the material up longer, or something like that.

Re: EU Court Rules Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Block ...

ahh the ever false belief that internal messages are private i take it. i could see that as an issue.

on another note GP's spell check system wants false to be all capitals... sooo tempting to insert Ace Attorney joke now.. :)

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