ECJ Rules That ISPs Aren’t Responsible For Monitoring Piracy

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.
Tags:  ISP