Friday, July 27, 2007

ISPs to prevent copyright infringement

The Belgian Court of First Instance in Brussels ruled late last month that a local Internet service provider must take certain proactive measures to block or filter peer-to-peer downloading of pirated audio and video files. The court's ruling was based on the European Union's Information Society Directive, which requires member states to "ensure that rightholders are in a position to apply for an injunction against intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe a copyright or related right." The ISP must begin using technology to prevent copyright infringement within six months of the ruling, or face fines of €2,500 a day for non-compliance. While recording and movie industry groups have cheered the decision, it could greatly increase in liability for Internet service providers -- especially if other courts follow Belgium's lead.

© Copyright 2007 Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Friday, July 13, 2007

Court Mandates Music Filtering for ISP

The Court of First Instance in Belgium issued a decision two weeks ago in a copyright infringement case brought by the Belgian music collecting society SABAM against Scarlet, an ISP formerly known as Tiscali. In the decision, the court ordered Scarlet to implement filtering within six months in order to remove copyrighted music from its network. An unnamed court-appointed expert identified several technologies -- including Audible Magic's acoustic fingerprinting -- that Scarlet could use to meet the court's requirements.