Euro court rules ISPs can block piracy sites
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled this week that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Europe can block piracy sites that illegally distribute copyright-protected material.
Broadband TV News reports the court ruled on a case brought back in June 15, 2012 before the Austrian Supreme Court, which asked the ECJ to interpret European copyright law.
Distributors Constantin Film Verleih and Wega-Filmproduktionsgesellschaft took legal action against Austrian cable operator UPC Telekabel Wien for not blocking access to kino.to, at the time the largest piracy site in German-speaking countries.
The ECJ concluded in its judgment that a “person who makes protected subject-matter available to the public on a website without the agreement of the right holder is using the services of the business which provides internet access to persons accessing that subject-matter.
Thus, an ISP, such as UPC Telekabel, which allows its customers to access protected subject-matter made available to the public on the internet by a third party is an intermediary whose services are used to infringe a copyright.
The Court notes, in that regard, that the directive, which seeks to guarantee a high level of protection of rights holders, does not require a specific relationship between the person infringing copyright and the intermediary against whom an injunction may be issued. Internet users and also, indeed, the ISP must be able to assert their rights. It is a matter for the national authorities and courts to check whether those conditions are satisfied.”
The full ruling by the ECJ can be found on the Court’s website.