Feeds

Belgian judge reverses moon-on-stick music copyright ruling

Audible Magic meets network realities

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A Belgian judge who slapped a €2,500 per day fine on an ISP until it filtered its network for music copyright infringements has reversed the decision after music lawyers conceded it wasn't technically possible.

The successful appeal by provider Scarlet last week overturns a ruling made in July last year. The final skirmish in Scarlet's battle with royalties collection society SABAM is now scheduled for October 2009.

SABAM had persuaded the judge that Scarlet could block all copyright-infringing music files passing through its network by using software from Audible Magic. The decision was seen as a potential landmark in European internet law by observers, as it made ISPs liable for the copyright status of traffic they carry.

In its appeal, Scarlet said it could not comply with the order because Audible Magic was ineffective. SABAM's lawyers admitted they had misled the court about the software's powers.

Last year SABAM played down the significance of its victory, saying: "The court considers that filtering and blocking software are not dealing as such with any personal data and that a blocking measure has a purely technical and automatic character, as the ISP is not playing any active role in the blocking or filtering."

Experts were surprised by the judge's position however, arguing that it drove a tank through ISPs' cherished "common carrier" immunity on copyright, which is mandated by the EU's E-Commerce Directive. The final appeal next year will decide whether Scarlet has any liability for copyright infringement.

In the UK ISPs have agreed to work with the record industry on a voluntary basis to discourage unlicensed music sharing. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.