3 Count: Court of Justice

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1: ISPs Can’t Be Forced to Monitor Traffic for Copyright Infringement, ECJ Rules

First off today, the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU on matters of EU law, has ruled that member nations can not force ISPs to monitor Web traffic for the purpose of filtering copyright infringing material. The case stems from SABAM, a Belgian rightsholder organization, which sued local ISP Scarlet over alleged copyright infringement by its users. A lower court ordered Scarlet to prevent its users from accessing SABAM’s library but Scarlet appealed and won at the European Court of Justice. SABAM has not decided what its next action will be in its lawsuit.

2: EU Advocate General: You Can’t Copyright a Programming Language

Net up today, the Advocate General in a European Court of Justice has issued a statement that a software language does not qualify for copyright protection. The case centers around U.S. firm SAS, which is suing UK-based World Programming Ltd. (WPL) claiming the compay built a programming language similar to one they developed. In 2007, in a similar case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that programming languages themselves don’t meet the qualification for copyrightability. However, the opinion of the Advocate General still needs to be ratified by the judges in the European Court of Justice to be legally binding. However, the position of the Advocate General makes that very likely to happen.

3: Copyright Holders Unhappy with Piracy Plan

Finally today, Australian ISPs have released a proposal for dealing with copyright infringement. The system works by having rightsholders forward information about potential infringement to the ISPs, which would then send “educational notices” to their customers. After 3 warnings, the ISP would then work with the rightsholder to help tackle the matter via the courts. However, rightsholders, through various groups, have come out against the plan saying that it doesn’t go far enough and isn’t “balanced”. Rightsholders, however, did not speak as to what their preferred plans were but one such group, AFACT, is currently appealing a ruling in their case against Australian ISP iiNet, in which it hopes to compel the ISP to disconnect repeated file sharers.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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