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European Court of Justice ruling on scope of ISP injunctions

14/12/2011

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United Kingdom

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This article was featured in Tech Bytes, our technology law newsletter.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that national courts cannot order an ISP to filter all data of all customers transmitted across the ISP's service in order to identify and block content that is being shared illegally via P2P file sharing.  The CJEU ruled that such an order would be contrary to EU law on a number of grounds including that it would:

  • Be contrary to the Ecommerce Directive.  Article 15 of that Directive prohibits Member States or their courts from imposing a "general" obligation on an internet intermediary to monitor internet traffic 
  • Fail to strike the appropriate fair balance between the freedom of expression and privacy rights of users and the property rights of the claimants, particularly where user access to legitimate content would be disrupted

Our full report and analysis of the CJEU ruling is available here.

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