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EU Privacy The Courts

EU Court: ISPs Can't Be Forced To Monitor All Traffic 67

Posted by timothy
from the this-time-let's-track-europe-please dept.
mmcuh writes "Back in 2004, Belgian copyright group Sabam managed to get a court order forcing the ISP Scarlet to filter out filesharing traffic. Scarlet took the case to a national appeals court, which in turn asked the European Court of Justice for an opinion. The opinion was delivered today: 'EU law precludes an injunction made against an internet service provider requiring it to install a system for filtering all electronic communications passing via its services which applies indiscriminately to all its customers, as a preventive measure, exclusively at its expense and for an unlimited period. [...] It is true that the protection of the right to intellectual property is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. There is, however, nothing whatsoever in the wording of the Charter or in the Court's case law to suggest that that right is inviolable and must for that reason be absolutely protected.'" An anonymous reader adds a link to the ruling itself, but notes "The ruling is not quite as broad as I would have liked, since it only pertains to filtering 'which applies indiscriminately to all its customers; exclusively at its expense; and for an unlimited period.'"
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EU Court: ISPs Can't Be Forced To Monitor All Traffic

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  • Bigger issue... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FBeans (2201802) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:32AM (#38158220)
    Most of these cases and problems all step from piracy. The Respective authorites trying to "fix" a broken system. Copyrights, patents, trademarks, they just wont ever work for all parties when it comes to intelectual property and digitally stored media. Instead of running around, putting pots and pans down to catch leaking rain water, we need to fix the roof. Until then, there will be countless, pointless conversations about Moral vs Legal aspects. Each of which are vague and ever-changing. Every story I read about Authorities trying to tackle piracy, or tackle Internet related issues in general, I die a little more inside. Having said that, I don't thin we're in for any revolution anytime soon...
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @12:25PM (#38158706)

    You said this was a fair compromise; I say it is not, because at the end of the day it will still affect non-infringing uses and it will not just affect individuals who are accused of infringement. The copyright lobbyists come in demanding that we cede Internet freedom because they do not know how to deal with the vast amount of copyright infringement that occurs on the Internet, and we are supposed to believe that ceding any amount of our freedom to them is a fair compromise? It sounds more like the copyright industry gets more power, and everyone else loses their freedom -- how is that a compromise?

    That is correct. What the GP fails to understand (or perhaps understands all too well) is that we aren't dealing with enlightened capitalists here, in fact we aren't dealing with enlightened anything. The copyright cartels (that is, the major copyright holders, the ones who rip off their customers and artists alike to the tune of billions of dollars every year, and fund RIAA/MPAA/CRIA-like groups worldwide) are organizations who must be resisted at every turn, on principle. That's because they are no more than criminal gangs who do not care who gets hurt, what social and economic harm they cause, as long as they get their way. Their efforts for the past few decades alone have proven that to the nth degree. These are bad people. Period. End of statement. Compromising with them is like compromising with terrorists: it only ends well for the terrorist.

    The arrogance of these corporations is just beyond belief: they act is if they are some multinational treasure that must be preserved at all costs. They are not. Matter of fact, if you want a shining example of overarching corporate greed, you need look no further. What makes them so dangerous is that they are willing to spend enormous sums to buy any government, any elected or unelected official, if it offers even the slimmest possibility of regaining control of content distribution. That's really what we should be up in arms about, this idea that corporations should be allowed to influence public policy-making and rewrite core elements of multiple legal systems. Reese said it best: "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop." These guys are out to terminate any last vestige of logic or reason in copyright.

    Personally, I think it's high time that the entire notion of copyright and its legitimate function in society (any society) be revisited. Certainly here in the U.S., copyright law has turned into an abomination rivalled only by our equally drain-bamaged patent system. I do not know what the EU's stance on copyright is, insofar as why it is suffered to exist in the first place, but in the United States our Constitution mandates that it is to "promote the advancement of the useful arts and sciences." Yes, you've all heard that quote before, but I believe it demonstrates the disconnect between what the supreme law of our land requires of copyright, and what it is actually doing to us now. And this all occurred because a corrupt Congress, at the behest of certain corporations (many of whom aren't even based in the U.S.) turned copyright into a protectionist nightmare.

    Granted, this discussion is about Europe, but what I want everyone to understand is that it is the same organizations that are behind all of this. Vivendi, Universal, BMG, Disney and the rest of the big boys. These multinational operations are doing their level best to impose a restrictive copyright regime over as much of the globe as they possibly can: if that manages to retard progress, limit the utility of the Internet and cost taxpayers billions ... well.

    There is no compromise possible with these people. Look at what is before our Congress right now, with SOPA and the Protect-IP acts (and let us not forget ACTA.) Do you really want that crap promulgating itself to Europe? Because if it succeeds here, I guarantee our government (under the mind-altering influence of big media's bribe money) will be strong-arming Europe to support similar regulation. Guaranteed.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @12:51PM (#38159032) Homepage Journal

    [...] the nice thing about not allowing the central federal government to get too powerful is that neither group can do much damage that way because almost all of the government a citizen experiences comes from the local and state levels.

    Another nice thing, is that it is much cheaper for large business to bribe local politicians.

    Local and state politicians no matter their affiliation are more accountable and it is much easier to relocate (and deny them your taxes) if you really have a problem with the way they run things.

    Until the time comes when large business, which outgrew every standalone state, has purchased every other state and you have nowhere to move.

    Yeah the government is dysfunctional, no dispute there, and it took the coordinated efforts of both parties (really a single Statist Party with two factions) to make it that way.

    The gov't is dysfunctional because people allowed it to be so.

    And also, honestly, I think that democracy (rule of majority) simply can't work when majority of people spend most of their lives passively consuming. Your US democracy is quite exemplary in that respect. It worked well when taking part in political process was highly involving, required some sort of commitment. And many did commit themselves, many were involved. And politicians couldn't dare to act against the will of people.

    Another opinion could be that the majoritarian systems, based on populism, simply had no sufficient time to adapt themselves to the environment where information travels very fast and very cheaply. Never before it was so easy to manipulate opinion of the masses. I'm constantly reminded of the ancient Bread and circuses [wikipedia.org]. Fast food and TV, to put it in modern terms.

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