ECJ Rules That ISPs Aren’t Responsible For Monitoring Piracy

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News Posted: Thu, Nov 24 2011 3:40 PM
A major ruling from the European Court of Justice found that an ISP is not responsible for monitoring Web traffic for illegal downloads.

The ruling was in a case between European ISP Scarlet Extended SA and an organization responsible for authorizing the use of musical works called SABAM. SABAM discovered that users were using P2P sites to illegally download works in its catalog. SABAM managed to get a Belgian court to order Scarlet to--somehow--end the P2P piracy, under threat of penalties.


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Predictably, Scarlet appealed the ruling, using the argument that asking it to effectively monitor communications on its networks, which violated a previously instituted directive on electronic commerce, not to mention fundamental rights of its customers to not be monitored.

The court ruled in favor of Scarlet, but did note that although making an ISP perform general monitoring, an organization could bring an injunction in certain circumstances.
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Manduh replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 8:57 PM

Good for Scarlet on winning! And I agree with them, ISPs should not be monitoring their consumers' usage, even though it's still happening for throttling and cap purposes - which I don't agree with either. At least I know they do in Canada :(

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 9:46 PM

The funny part about this is while it may not be there responsibility to monitor every user or communications on there networks if the fail to do so they are only asking for major difficulties for themselves in many ways so they really have no choice than to do so at least to some degree which is not a light one.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 9:54 PM

I am not saying it is there responsibility to control users as that is definitely not so.

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BMAN replied on Fri, Nov 25 2011 2:10 AM

I'm happy that finally some ISP's think it's not in their best interest to spy on their customers; here in Canada a group called openmedia is trying to stop our government from passing a bill (into law) that will allow police/ RCMP/ etc. direct access to anyone's personal information (including where they've been going/ what they've been up to on the internet)...all without any form of search warrant.

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It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks for sharing this with others.

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gazd1 replied on Fri, Nov 25 2011 7:10 AM

Good to see this decision! Let's hope that it stays final, so we'll get less of these intrusions from sticky beaks.

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omegadraco replied on Sat, Nov 26 2011 11:05 AM

In the U.S. they pretty much already have the right to get whatever information they want. ISPs are going to log users information regardless of if they need to or not.

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mhenriday replied on Sat, Nov 26 2011 1:55 PM

Every so often, the European Commission and the European Court of Justice do make rulings which follow the letter of the law and even protect ordinary people's interests, rather than acceding to the wishes of industrial lobbyists. This would seem to be one of these all too rare occasions. Kudos to the ECJ !...

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gloriad1 replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 12:39 PM

Let's hope that they keep on making these right decisions. Keep on doing good ECJ. I'd have to agree with you gazd1, 100%.

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RSmith replied on Sat, Dec 3 2011 2:06 AM

At least someone's doing something right, somewhere in the world, lol.  Glad to see this.

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