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The Internet Censorship EU Government The Courts Technology

European Court of Justice To Outlaw Net Filtering 171

Posted by timothy
from the soon-only-outlaws-will-have-filters dept.
jrepin writes "Today, the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary opinion that will have far-reaching implications in the fight against overaggressive copyright monopoly abusers. It is not a final verdict, but the advocate general's position; the Court generally follows this. The Advocate Generals says that no ISP can be required to filter the Internet, and particularly not to enforce the copyright monopoly."
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European Court of Justice To Outlaw Net Filtering

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  • In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by mseeger (40923) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @01:40PM (#35819840)

    In a shocking development, the famous tech web site "Slashdot" has been found to post misleading headlines *again*. While the european court is moving to ban internet blocking without a law, it clearly states that it would be legal if a specific law would allow and specify the conditions for it.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @01:48PM (#35819920) Homepage Journal

    Nah, people just have to get it through their heads that they will have to do it themselves instead of expecting someone else to do it for them. A full 24-bit digital recording studio that beats anything that was available to Pink Floyd, The Beatles, or Zeppelin will cost you only a few hundred dollars these days. Less than a good drum set. Stop whining and get to work on it.

  • by fearlezz (594718) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @02:12PM (#35820224) Homepage

    Well it does say can be required to, that doesn't mean they can't be convinced, paid, or otherwise motivated to filter the Internet.

    Indeed.

    Falkvinge.net says the exact opposite of what I read dozens of times today. All articles I read today say that that very same advocate general, mister Cruz Villalón, said that if individual countries make laws requiring ISPs to filter the web, there's nothing the EU can/will do. Only without those local laws, it would be illegal.

    Some of my sources:
    Translation of tweakers.net [google.nl]
    Translation of nu.nl [google.nl]

  • Updated article (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrystalFalcon (233559) * on Thursday April 14, 2011 @02:24PM (#35820360) Homepage

    Hello, Slashdot. I had intended to update this article tomorrow with a more detailed analysis, but given that it's now Slashdot Top Story, I posted the followup immediately. For your convenience:

    What this does is say that:

    One, no court may impose an ISP with an order to filter, in particular not because of enforcement of copyright monopolies;

    Two, such filtering is a reduction of fundamental rights, so

    Three, if laws are written requiring an ISP filter or block the internet, such laws must conform to very strict criteria that are applied to laws limiting fundamental rights. They must be effective, they must be proportionate, and they must be defensible in a democratic society. While this sounds like political wishywashing, it has some very specific meanings. It is useful to compare to what laws have been written to prevent terrorism: these laws are held to that standard, which the copyright industry wants badly to supersede. The Attorney General also goes into detail how such laws must be transparent and predictable.

    What this does not say is that:

    Four, no censorship must ever take place.

    Five, no ISP may choose to limit what they present as "The Internet".

    In conclusion:

    Six, it has been the modus operandi of the copyright industry to threaten ISPs with "block to our wishes or we'll take you to court". This has been their standard operating procedure for the past couple of years, in order to establish enough precendents to get them written into law. Today's verdict, or potential verdict, gives those ISPs the power to say "go play on the highway, parasites, we have an order from the highest possible court saying no court can force us to do that. We care more about our customers than about obsolete irrelevants".

    Seven, this is the highest court in Europe, referring to the (equivalent of) Constitution of Europe. Thus, there are no courts and no laws that can supersede this. No EU Directive can change this (potential) verdict. The way forward for the copyright industry appears permanently blocked; I hold it as absolutely improbable that they'll get paragraphs in the referred European Charter of Human Rights that put the copyright monopoly before the sanctity of correspondence, of personal data, and freedom of information.

    There. Do I get karma for posting from my own blog when it is TFA?

    Oh, and yay - my server is holding. *celebrate*

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @02:26PM (#35820384)
    If the thing that moves you about music is production value, I can't help you, but you need help.

    Anecdotal though it may be, I will point to my favorite guzheng player as an example. Bei Bei He [youtube.com] started out just posting amateur videos of performances to YouTube (which is when I started following her). Recording quality? Mediocre at best, but excellent performances. She self-published her first album, which caught the eye of an indie producer who collaborated with her on her second. Her music has been several times used as interstitials on NPR and is gaining popularity (though I doubt it will or even could be mainstream... guzhengs are unknown to most Americans/Westerners), but it started with self-published mediocre quality videos on YouTube. Talent shines regardless of tools.

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