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Music royalties group pooh-poohs Belgian P2P appeal reports

ISP must filter, just later, SABAM says

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The Belgian music royalties collecting society SABAM has denied reports that a judge last week binned a landmark decision forcing an ISP to block unlicenced file sharing.

The Belgian press reported that the ISP Scarlet had convinced the judge that filtering its network for copyright infringement was technically impossible. We picked up the reports here.

But SABAM has now disputed the claims, and said that Scarlet won only a later start to the €2,500 per day fine originally imposed. The society sent this statement, via IFPI:

Scarlet may have won some extra time, but the Sword of Damocles is still hanging over its head. If Scarlet fails to comply with the court order to prevent P2P infringements by its users in the lead up to the appeal hearing in October 2009, it could still have to pay penalties amounting to some one million euros.

The recent judgment provides clear guidance for Scarlet, suggesting that it should consider all potential solutions in order to reach the sought-after goal and should work out an objective and reliable procedure to implement them, if necessary combining them.

SABAM said the new start date for the fine was set for Saturday 1 November. "The ruling in this case confirms the right owners' view that it is feasible and reasonable for ISPs to invest in technology to curb mass copyright infringement on their networks," it said.

Scarlet will challenge the ruling again in October next year. ®

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