The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling that it is illegal for EU nations to spy on users with national censorship firewalls used to block entire websites accused of violating copyright. The Court held that blocking whole sites invades user privacy and restricts access to legitimate content and is an undue burden on free speech.
The Court ruled that issuing an order mandating the use of a filtering system where all subscriber communications are routinely monitored for infringements, not only on currently protected works but also those in the future, would be disproportionate and fraught with difficulty.
Scarlet would be required to install an expensive and complex computer system, which would run contrary to an EU Directive stating that measures to protect copyright may not be unnecessarily complicated or costly, the Court notes.
The implementation of such a filter would also be contrary to the requirement that an appropriate balance be found between the protection of intellectual property rights and the entrepreneurial freedom Scarlet is entitled to enjoy.
European Court: ISPs Can’t Spy on Pirating Customers
Some day, you may be the defendant in a criminal trial that turns on whether the software in a forensic device reached a reliable conclusion about a DNA test or other piece of evidence. Wouldn’t you like to have your own experts check the source code on that device?
An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday’s conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA’s bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms.
Tim Harford, the Financial Times’s Undercover Economist, writes about the Happy Birthday to You court case, which finally settled the question of whether the familiar birthday song was still in copyright (it isn’t) and uses that as a springboard to ask the question: how long should copyright last?
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