Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-time-let's-track-europe-please dept.

EU 67

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.'"

cancel ×

67 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No Unlimited Period (5, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158036)

Complainant asks the court to require the ISP filter out content X for all customers, at its expense, for the next 20 years. (P.S.: See you in 20 years when we plan to re-file a duplicate of this request.) *

* See also U.S. Copyright duration.

Re:No Unlimited Period (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158074)

My guess is that the EU court is just trying to be cautious about setting a broad precedent without a lot more study.

Re:No Unlimited Period (4, Insightful)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158142)

You know, the EU is in many case the only thing standing between the citizens and the populist/totalitarian tendencies of the national governments.

Basically, the EU courts care about basic rights, whereas the national courts care about either political agendas, or power. The EU commission cares about having the economy work, and will prosecute monopolists. The EP (except the loonies) actually cares about doing a good job.

Now the national part, the council of ministers, that is a disgrace. I really want the EU to become more democratic, and this means more power to the commission and EP, and way, way less to the national governments.

Re:No Unlimited Period (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158154)

20 years later

The EP has far too much and is pushing political agendas! We need to reduce the power of the commission and the EP!

Re:No Unlimited Period (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158178)

I'd mod you up if I had points. That's exactly how it's worked in the US. The GOP has figured out that by scaring the crap out of people and blaming the government for them being scared that they can get reelected without even trying to provide a better government. More than that they've found that they get rewarded for making the government as dysfunctional as possible.

What's scary is that at this time they aren't even lying about their priorities.

Re:No Unlimited Period (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158344)

I'd mod you up if I had points. That's exactly how it's worked in the US. The GOP has figured out that by scaring the crap out of people and blaming the government for them being scared that they can get reelected without even trying to provide a better government. More than that they've found that they get rewarded for making the government as dysfunctional as possible.

What's scary is that at this time they aren't even lying about their priorities.

Oh. Here I thought you were going to relate having a federal government that has too much power over the states to the situation with the EU where a strong central government with too much control of the member nations is what GP was warning about. But you turned it into an anti-Republican rant instead. That's ... not nearly so useful.

Can we just settle this matter and move on? The Democrats? They fucking suck and will gladly take us down the road to totalitarianism and it will be in the name of "fairness" and "spreading the wealth around" and unions. The Republicans? They fucking suck and will gladly take us down the road to fascism and it will be in the name of "patriotism" and "national defense" and being pro-business.

You see, 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. 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.

The EU might seem wonderful right now but if you triple its power it won't be so nice anymore. But no, you wanted to rant about a political party and not about the system under which it operates, demonstrating to anyone with the slightest insight that you have been suckered by the two-party system. Wake up, man. It's designed to cause precisely this kind of squabbling that never changes anything.

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. After you keep trying one thing hundreds of times and it keeps failing over and over again, it's time to try something different. What that something might be is the worthy question.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158412)

eah 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. After you keep trying one thing hundreds of times and it keeps failing over and over again, it's time to try something different.

True. And the definition of a fanatic someone who sticks to his guns ... whether they're loaded or not.

Re:No Unlimited Period (5, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38159032)

[...] 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.

Re:No Unlimited Period (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38159710)

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

This is where the fact that the citizens outnumber those businesses works in our favor.

Contrast that to the federal level where you either bring tremendous lobbying dollars to the table or your voice is drowned out. Those businesses and lobbyists are the only ones who can afford influence when it is this way. That in combination with a high incumbency rate is precisely why the voters are marginalized.

Lowering the cost and effort required to be heard by your elected officials makes them more accessible to everyone, not less. What you count as a disadvantage there is actually the most desirable aspect of keeping things small and local wherever possible.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164950)

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

Not across the entire country, it's not. Not that they care, though, as they've got enough money for either.

And it's much easier to vote out local politicians.

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

That works (or doesn't work) on any level. Most U.S. states are bigger than many European countries, but, last I checked, most of Europe isn't "purchased".

Re:No Unlimited Period (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38165780)

Not across the entire country, it's not. Not that they care, though, as they've got enough money for either.

Actually, it would be cheaper to bribe.

Think of it this way: you're shopping for Christmas. Different stores from different states offer different prices (factoring in shipping) for the same thing. The smart thing to do is to shop around and buy from the store with the lowest price for a particular item. In the end you'll save money.

Same thing here with businesses and bribes. Instead of having one "national" price of bribing, businesses can find an optimal price for each state, and end up saving money.

but, last I checked, most of Europe isn't "purchased".

... and Europe has the EU, which is rather large governing entity. So I don't think that's a good example.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38170556)

Same thing here with businesses and bribes. Instead of having one "national" price of bribing, businesses can find an optimal price for each state, and end up saving money.

Ultimately, the ability to easily bribe public officials with no consequences is a hallmark of broken democracy - in a properly functional one, civil groups and journalists will hawkishly observe them all and publish reports on anything suspicious, and voters will kick anyone who is smeared too much. However, as I noted earlier, this is generally easier to implement on a small scale - the bigger it gets, the more voice you need to get the point across to electorate. At some point, you need mass media to do that (where e.g. in a town word of mouth may be enough to achieve the same effect) - and that, in turn, is susceptible to buy-out by big business.

Also, the more voters there are, the higher is the subjective perception that one's vote does not mean anything in the grand scheme of things - and then people become apathetic and stop voting altogether, or, worse yet, sell their votes.

... and Europe has the EU, which is rather large governing entity. So I don't think that's a good example.

EU is a much weaker governing entity than U.S. federal government. The idea is not to get rid of the latter altogether, but rather scale it back.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38160958)

And that is exactly why more significant structural changes are needed on a regular basis. In the US we should probably gut the fed and have the States do most everything for a while. In the EU, they need to federalize for a while. In 15 to 20 years, we can reverse.

Re:No Unlimited Period (2)

lordholm (649770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158234)

Ah... yes, we want the council of ministers to make the laws, it is always better if elected lawmakers have no influence on the laws, I mean really it is just so much better if the council who have their meetings partially in secret is the only body that makes European law. Silly commission and parliament that is accountable to the citizens, we should get rid of them!

You're thinking of the EU parliament (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158272)

You're thinking of the EU parliament not the EU Courts or council. Common Daily Fail reader problem.

Re:You're thinking of the EU parliament (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158376)

Nope the EU Council of minnisters comes up with ideas in a general term then gets them voted on by the parliment and then the committees get to add in their of ammendments. For example go and look ad the current debate over the IMCO suggestions for motorcycling - basically the "please rubber stamp this" proposal was to introduce rules to govern vehicle modifications that could be unsafe. If various motorcycling groups had not jumped on it then it would have gone through on the nod - despite there being i believe over 300 tabled ammendments covering everything from anti tampering of the entire drive chain to giving police officers the power to conduct random roadside checks to ascertain whether alterations had been made.

It took a complaint to the EU ombudsman to ascertain that the legally required impact study had not been carried out meaning the the constitutionally enshrined concept of proportionality could not be checked.

There were 40000 uk bikers out protesting on sep25th as to how undemocratic the EU can be

http://www.mag-uk.org/en/campaignsdetail/a6883

Re:You're thinking of the EU parliament (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158764)

Spelling aside, you are also factually incorrect. There are a number of different legislative methods used in the EU, but in none of them does the Council of Ministers initialise the procedure.

Depending on the type of legislation, it's either

  • Commission proposes -> Council and Parliament amends and accepts or rejects (codecision procedure)
  • Commission proposes -> Council consults Parliament -> Council ignores Parliament and amends and accepts or rejects on its own (consultation procedure)
  • Commission proposes -> Council amends and accepts or rejects -> Parliament accepts or rejects (consent procedure)
  • Commission proposes -> Council amends and accepts or rejects
  • Commission dictates!

Re:No Unlimited Period (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38159550)

But it's the American way!

What? You didn't know that the (new*) American way was extremist anti-democratic? Well what did you mean "free market" meant? A market where there still are *any* laws, is not 100% free, now is it?
Oh, you thought they couldn't possibly mean it *that* way? Yeah, riiight. ^^

* But shhh about that. We don't want people to know that even their hero Reagan, plus all of the founding fathers, were strongly against what they call "American".

Re:No Unlimited Period (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158268)

I think my point was unclear. I have no problem with governments pushing political agendas -- it is their job. As long as these agendas do not involve curtailing basic freedoms or pandering to special interests at the detriment of everyone else.

I do not expect rulers to not rule to their advantage. This is fair game. But this does not dispense them from doing their job, which is improving the lot of all of us as well. The EU does that. moreso than national governments.

This is logical: problems are global or at least continent-wide these days. National government are too weak to tackle them, yet they need to pretend to. When they fail, as they must, they resort to populist tactics to stay in power. Power must be at the level where the problems are, and in the XXIst, this is at the continent/world scale and at the local scale.

Nations are obsolete, and I think they know that.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158396)

The reason that the EU does not push political agendas to the degree that national governments do is that the EU is not powerful. If you cede enough power to the commission and the EP, you will see political agendas pushed there. That is exactly what happened in the United States -- the more power the federal government has accumulated, the more the federal government has pushed political agendas, both domestically and abroad.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158636)

But political agendas are completely fine! This also is the job of a government. I just want the agendas to respect rights and have the proper scale: the economy, environment, science, etc., all occur at the scale of the globe. Regulating finance can occur only on a quasi-global scale. Fixing the environment is a similarly global problem.

Therefore, any National government (except those of China, India and the US) who claims that can do anything about those issues is lying. In the US the government at the federal scale is somewhat inept, because of the senate and the disproportionate influence the states have. It is again a case of remnant national power causing problems, because local interests prevent solving global problems.

And, of course, because the republican party has gone from right to far-right to downright crazy in the last 30 years. Largely because the backwards opinions prevalent in a few not-so-populated states are disproportionately heard. Fixing problems requires fixing them at the right scale. otherwise powerlessness leads to corrupt politics.

I am, therefore, much more optimistic about the behaviour of a more powerful EP than you are: it would come at the expense of the council of ministers, which is largely the source of most problems.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158658)

I just want the agendas to respect rights

Experience has shown that they will not. The more powerful governments become, the less political agendas respect the rights of the people who are being governed. The EU is not an exception to this, it is a fundamental rule of politics.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158868)

Sorry, this is not actually true. Only in some libertarian fantasy is the absence of government a good thing. In reality, proper separation of powers, insulation from local politics and a sufficiently independent legislative branch (not beholden to the executive, nor for sale to the industry) are a better guarantee of rights being respected.

But also, the actual power to influence outcomes is required. Which means that largely powerless governments are more prone to becoming corrupt. This is what national (and at the level of the US state) powers should be curtailed as much as possible. Very few problems are specifically French, British, German, or for that matter Californian or Texan.

If a government cannot influence an outcome (for example, paedophilia is a fact of life. There are deranged people which will do sick things to children, nothing you can do can prevent this, only minimise it) it will try to be seen doing something, and this usually involves draconian actions with little bearing on the outcome, and huge costs on society. If government is not powerless, it will actually do something about the problem it is asked to resolve.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

buglista (1967502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158406)

The EP is elected at least (and hence pushes political agendas no more than any other elected parliament). I'd rather give the EP more power and the council less.

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38159560)

The trick is: the resources needed to effect change in a political entity grow exponentially with the number of people that such entity represent, for obvious reasons (it becomes harder to find common answers and to prioritize problems).

So even the EP is difficult to control by the sovereign citizens, not to mention government and EC.

(you are not sovereign when you don't have a piece of land to return to, when you don't agree to the system of those in power, but that's my personal opinion)

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158200)

Basically, the EU courts care about basic rights, whereas the national courts care about either political agendas, or power.

At least here in Germany, that's not universally true.
Quite a few courts here take the side of consumers/the people against the government or big corporations.
Not all, thought. Some courts like those in Hamburg sometimes give the impression that they are in the pockets of the German equivalents of the MAFIAA.

Re:No Unlimited Period (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158286)

True, I have painted with too broad a brush. The problem usually lies in systems where the national governments can try to prosecute citizens, or influence the outcome of a trial.

Re:No Unlimited Period (2)

lordholm (649770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158248)

Your proposal is called european federalism. I like it very much :)

Re:No Unlimited Period (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158250)

The EU courts are surprisingly competent but I have the impression this is because they are truly independent, can't be pressured by national governments and aren't interfered with by the eurocrats. One wonders how long that would last if the EC and EP got more political power.

Re:No Unlimited Period (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158114)

The problem is...the court also said that it's running counter to the monitoring provisions of EU law, which prohibit such things. So, they'd just get smacked down, again. DNS black-holing counts as legit. Blocking P2P in any manner really requires monitoring and it's a no-no; which is the real reason that they got told "no"- the unlimited period part was just hammering nails in the coffin.

Re:No Unlimited Period (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158410)

Or: Complainant asks the court to require the ISP to filter out content X "only" for customers which are not media companies, at its expense, for an unlimited period.

Not an inviolable right (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158126)

Great, so, can we stop pretending that copyrights are more important than free speech now?

Re:Not an inviolable right (2)

FBeans (2201802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158166)

Great, so, can we stop pretending that copyrights are more important than free speech now?

You can stop pretending, but you just can't talk about it, just in case!

Re:Not an inviolable right (5, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158734)

Great, so, can we stop pretending that copyrights are more important than free speech now?

The ruling doesn't go quite that far. It says that copyrights are less important than freedom of expression (the European equivalent of free speech) + privacy + freedom to conduct a business in these specific circumstances. There's still a lot of talk about "striking a fair balance" between "the protection of the fundamental right to property [and] the protection of the fundamental rights of individuals."

Having said that, they do, it seems for the first time, acknowledge that the "protection of the right to intellectual property" isn't absolute in [43], noting that "[t]here is, however, nothing whatsoever in the wording of [Article 17(2) of the CFREU) or in the Court's case-law to suggest that that right is inviolable and must for that reason be absolutely protected."

It's nice to have that on record.

Re:Not an inviolable right (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164954)

It's basic common sense. The right to property in general is not absolute and is subject to common good (see also: taxes, eminent domain). Why would IP be different?

Well, this too sounds good (4, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158170)

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."

That seems like a perfectly adequate compromise position.

This ruling places the onus for detection back on the rights holder, where it belongs. They are tasked with identifying violations and informing the ISP.

Then, if this holds up, the ISP places filters for a time less than infinite on that account. This does not limit that account to any other non-infringing use, nor does it limit any of the ISP's other customers.

Quite frankly, this sounds like the most logical solution to the "problem" I've seen to date. It's certainly much better than disconnection from the internet, and frankly I suspect this is much easier to implement as well.

Does anyone have a good counterargument?

Re:Well, this too sounds good (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158198)

Then, if this holds up, the ISP places filters for a time less than infinite on that account. This does not limit that account to any other non-infringing use,

Obviously you are unfamiliar with DMCA takedown abuses here in the United States.

nor does it limit any of the ISP's other customers.

I guess people no longer run servers out of their homes.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (2)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158236)

"Obviously you are unfamiliar with DMCA takedown abuses here in the United States."

I am more than familiar with them. They still place the onus on the rights holder, not the ISP. Ask your ISP which they would prefer.

"I guess people no longer run servers out of their homes."

I'm sure they do. And if you wish to support other users on such a server, and those users commit copyright violations, you'll now have multiple options on how you would like to deal with this problem, compared to the singular option you have today, disconnection.

Is this your counterargument? It's specious.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158320)

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?

Re:Well, this too sounds good (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (2)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158260)

You can't put a restriction or surveillance on any citizen without court order. This right is protected by every EU country constitution.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158680)

You can't put a restriction or surveillance on any citizen without court order. This right is protected by every EU country constitution.

This one is a matter of scope, not a binary "yes there is a court order or no one hasn't been obtained". Sabam wanted to get a single court order that applies to all users of this particular ISP.

The question then is shouldn't they have a burden of proof to identify and accuse individuals and not apply monitoring to everyone who happens to use a particular company just in case they *might* be filesharing, along with all the increased costs this would imply? Any kind of sanity would say "yes". The desperation of the copyright cartels and their desire to place their profits above even basic human freedoms would say "no".

They wanted a filtering system? How would such monitoring even detect copyrighted traffic anyway? You can't just monitor all BitTorrent traffic because legitimate items such as Linux distros are downloaded there. A digest or hash wouldn't be so reliable because it wouldn't apply anymore to a file that was altered or transcoded and wouldn't easily apply to files that are compressed. Torrents can be encrypted and there are alternate peer-to-peer protocols. It's not really even a feasible task in the first place.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158760)

You can't put a restriction or surveillance on any citizen without court order. This right is protected by every EU country constitution.

Sure you can. It depends entirely upon the definition of "surveillance", and also whether or not a government bothers to enforce its own Constitution. Furthermore, as is happening here in the U.S. with increasing regularity, "Constitutional exceptions" can be granted. Don't depend upon government following its own rules. That's gotten more than one country in trouble.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158278)

I do have somewhat of a concern about the ruling, it leaves open the potential that even a slight bit of movement on one of these makes the measures okay:

"which applies indiscriminately to all its customers; exclusively at its expense; and for an unlimited period"

So if it's not exclusively at it's expense, i.e. the music industry pays a pittance, say, £1000 towards the measure or requests it for a finite period such as an effective lifetime - 100 years, then does that make it okay?

Realistically the ruling is too vague to offer any long term guaranteed protection and this will return to the courts once the industry has made a slight bit of movement on one of these points in a manner I described.

The key word that really ruins it all is the "and" in the "and for an unlimited period", if this word was instead "or" then it would imply that none of these things is acceptable, instead it implies that they are only unacceptable when all hold true in combination, so the content industry only has to mitigate one to work round this ruling, which is fairly trivial.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158302)

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."

That seems like a perfectly adequate compromise position. This ruling places the onus for detection back on the rights holder, where it belongs.

That's one big conditional AND. If it applies to only some people - like people that have had their first "strike" in a three strike system or the copyright holder copays or it is only for a limited time may still be legal. Courts like to make their decisions as narrow as possible, the really big principled decisions are only decided if no lesser decision could suffice.

Re:Well, this too sounds good (3, Informative)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158394)

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."

That seems like a perfectly adequate compromise position.

It's not a compromise. The court simply ruled on the question it was asked, which is in fact all it could rule about. See also the FAQ [edri.org] by European Digital Rights (EDRI).

Re:Well, this too sounds good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38161056)

Here is a counterargument: the Belgian MAFIAA can simply request the same thing again, except now for a six-month trial period. It will still apply to all customers, and the expense for the ISP is still the same. This ruling took seven years. Care to wager how long the new trial will take? The ruling as-is cannot be used as precedent. In the off case that that request is granted, the ISP will still bear the costs of the initial investment. And since infrastructure for filtering is already in place, subsequent filter requests can be satisfied with a modest administration fee.

That is why I think the ruling should have been broader. The request should have been denied on any of the conditions separately, not on the combination of them.

Bigger issue... (5, Interesting)

FBeans (2201802) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Bigger issue... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158296)

Having said that, I don't thin we're in for any revolution anytime soon...

Revolution will happen one way or another. Computers represent as fundamental of a change in communication as the printing press or the invention of writing. Every time such a revolutionary change in communication occurs, the people who made a living under the old system whine and complain and try to maintain their position in society. Sometimes they manage to hang on -- Jews still have scribes who write the Torah on parchment rather than moving to printing presses, and Jews also have weekly Torah chanting which dates all the way back to the time when the stories were not written down at all -- but more often than not, new technologies win. Copyrights as we understand them will succumb to computers and the Internet, despite the complaints of people whose livelihood depends on copyrights, just as scribes succumbed to the printing press and campfire storytellers succumbed to writing.

Re:Bigger issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38161154)

The original court order wasn't about pro-copyright law. It was about stopping business A (the ISP) doing things which harmed business B (the copyright leeches). But on a scale that was nonsensical. How about a court-order demanding bottle-shops eliminate drink-drivers from their shop?

Re:Bigger issue... (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38161390)

Ultimately, it's just not going to work unless/until copyright law is re-formulated to be in line with what most everyone considers to be right. The elephant in the room is that the common citizen doesn't really obey the law, he does what he believes to be right and hopes for the best. The more the law reflects what reasonable people believe to be approximately right, the better society works.

Priorities (4, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158238)

Although this ruling is a win for our rights and freedoms, given the deciding 3 terms: "indiscriminately, exclusively at its expense; and for an unlimited period", its clear the ruling is based on the rights of the ISP to not have to face additional undetermined expenses, rather than anything to do with protecting the internet or free speech.

Its been clear for decades if not centuries that the US government is so sold out that it prioritises big business profits above its own constitution, however its sad to see the same is apparently now true of the EU.

Re:Priorities (4, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158308)

In this case the ISP's and their customers have the same goal: no filtering. It's the ISP who brought the case before the court so it's normal that the judgement should be framed in such a way that it represent their case against the filtering. In fact I believe there is a law which says that the verdict must be explained by the court in such a way as to indicate it was based on the evidence brought forward during the trial or it's invalid.

the right to "violate" the copyright (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158252)

What they are saying is that there are cases where you could "violate" the copyright, some of them are even already defined, like in libraries for example, and some are not, but it would be up to the defendant to prove it.

Re:the right to "violate" the copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164182)

You're phrasing it wrong, stop drinking the koolaid. There is no "right" to violate a copyright; you have a natural right to use/apply/copy knowledge, and copyright places limits on this right. Anywhere copyright doesn't apply (such as fair use exceptions), the natural right prevails. That's not a violation, it's natural expression.

European Big Media's answer (1)

Obsi (912791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158316)

Okay. we'll give you EUR 1 toward costs, duration will be the duration of our copyright, and you can exclude 193.108.12.60 from your searches. Thank you.

"...exclusively at its expense..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158494)

>exclusively at its expense

That little phrase is what it is all about, a company has no right to force another company to spend money, to the detriment of (the competitiveness of) its service, to enforce the law.

So organized crime got into the EU Charter?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38158506)

It is true that the protection of the right to intellectual property is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU

What. The. Fuck?
There is no such thing as "intellectual property". It's an oxymoron. It's nonsense. Let alone a "right to...". That's like saying "a right to live north of north pole". THAT DOESN'T EXIST, YOU IDIOTS!
It is a lie, spread by organized crime, namely the media reproduction and artist extortion Mafia*, to vaguely justify their nasty protection racket.
As long as the EU has this in their official documents, they are part of organized crime, and everyone of them who doesn't fight it deserves to be hunted down and shot like a dog.

* Note: No second "a", because they are not just "like" a Mafia. They are a Mafia. Including things like drug habits, and buying/bribing the cops.

Re:So organized crime got into the EU Charter?? (1, Troll)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158672)

There is no such thing as "intellectual property". It's an oxymoron. It's nonsense. Let alone a "right to...". That's like saying "a right to live north of north pole". THAT DOESN'T EXIST, YOU IDIOTS!
It is a lie, spread by organized crime, namely the media reproduction and artist extortion Mafia*, to vaguely justify their nasty protection racket.

Wrong, it's a legal concept. I agree that it's a stupid (and grossly misleading) phrase, but it has a fairly specific legal meaning (referring to certain sets of intangible property rights, based around creations of intellect, or something).

And as for there being a "right to..." ... well, rights are things created by law - there's nothing stopping governments from creating a "right to live north of the north pole", it would just be very hard to uphold.

Once again, a tax on the lazy or stupid (1)

qualityassurancedept (2469696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158526)

Suppose they were successful in their monitoring and subsequent control of file sharing. It's not like the problem that are trying to address would be solved. I have a 250 GB external usb hard drive. For argument's sake lets just suppose I fill it with movies and music and MAIL IT TO YOU. You then fill the same hard drive with 250 GB of content that you have pirated and you mail it back to me. We are still sharing pirated content but just not over the interwebs. Ultimately, someone is going to have to come up with a way to stop people from pirating their content because there is no advancement in the overall legal situation by simply making it inconvenient for morons to share files.

Re:Once again, a tax on the lazy or stupid (1)

FBeans (2201802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38159052)

Exactly, and further to this we could of course just share our DVDs etc. There are so many other ways to achive the same goal. In this case the goal is breaking the law. Software Piracy is mass-law-breaking and I would go as far to say, anyone who knows what it is has done it at least once in their life. The current system is a lost cause, a revolution of the way we distribute digital content, how we protect it, and how we keep it profitable for the creators has to happen.

Ultimately, someone is going to have to come up with a way to stop people from pirating their content because there is no advancement in the overall legal situation by simply making it inconvenient for morons to share files.

To stop people sharing content they shouldn't be (i.e. 100% of illegal sharing), we must stop people sharing all together. As you say, whether it's downloading content from a server, P2P, mailing it, or just giving it to someone. Who would be the best people to work this problem out? The People who have most to lose my things changing? No, but they have the power at the moment. The people who take part in alot of piracy are surley the one's to be asking, "What do we have to do to make you pay for this product?". I'm not sure what the answer is, I just know were not going to find it anytime soon, we are stuck around a false optimum point and we need to revolutionize the system!

British Telecom (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158682)

I wonder if this gives BT chance to appeal against the News2bin rulings against it?

Re:British Telecom (3, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38158884)

The difference between this and the Newzbin2 ruling is that the Newzbin2 order was very specific that the Hollywood studios had to do all the monitoring etc..

While the order itself (given right at the bottom of the judgment [bailii.org] ) says that BT must "block or attempt to block access by its customers to the website known as Newzbin2 ... and any other IP address or URL whose sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin2 website", which seems to be a general monitoring obligation the judgment made it clear that "[i]t will be the Studios' responsibility accurately to identify IP addresses and URLs to be notified to BT." In theory, all BT has to do is take IPs and URLs given to it and add them to its existing block-list. While BT may be able to use this new ruling if they end up appealing the Newzbin2 order (or if ISPs face further orders), I'm not sure how much use it will be.

The CJEU ruling sets an upper bound on the extend to which courts can order ISPs to enforce copyrights, but anything less than the ridiculously-wide order SABAM sought is still fair game.

Re:British Telecom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38159958)

That ruling was to use the existing BT CleanFeed system - which applies indiscriminately to all BT's ISP customers - to filter Newzbin2 on its current DNS and IP address and any DNS/IP addresses purportedly belonging to Newzbin2 identified in future by the MPA without further orders being necessary, exclusively at BT's expense, and did not specify a limit to the term of the order (leaving it unlimited in term).

I'm no expert. However it does appear to me at face value that the Newzbin2 order does fall within this case law and should be appealable to either the UK Supreme Court or to the European Court of Human Rights on that basis. I wouldn't be surprised if they do appeal. I have no idea if they would be successful, or whether the order would be revoked or simply limited.

Understanding this procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38160720)

Reading comments till now, I think it is good to understand the nature of this procedure. In this judicial procedure, which is described in the EU treaty, any judge in a member state can ask, and sometimes must, judgements on questions of EU law. The court answers the question. And nothing more than that.

In this case the referring court of appeals asked, als required, a specific question based on the case. Unlike most of you I don't think the european court is not broad enough in it's judgement. It is very specific on the balance between ownership rights and otter rights. In this case the human rights of the internet and the ownership rights of the ISP.

In it's judgement this court did what it could do, and it gave plenty of ammunition to lawyers defending against demands like the onze in this case. The importance can not easily be overestimated.

Filtering is futile (4, Insightful)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164204)

Today, most major trackers (bittorrent) support SSL connections, TOR was always encrypted, most filehosters (megaupload, hotfile, rapidshare, fileserve, filesonic, wupload etc.) also support SSL and then there's VPN...

There's simply no way filtering would hamper serious file sharers, not the common leecher if portals and tracker links silently used SSL. It's only effect would be higher bills (due to investments in computing power to perform the filtering) and slower traffic. It would not do anything worthwhile in the area of file sharing.

I wonder.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164914)

..what happens, if these filters would to be placed, when a record company tries to sends it stuff from the studio to the cd-pressing company? :)

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>