European Court of Justice Against Filtering

From today’s judgment in the Scarlet Extended case, holding that European Union law prohibits national courts from imposing an injunction that requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system to prevent the illegal downloading of files:

            The protection of the right to intellectual property is . . . enshrined in . . . the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union . . . . There is, however, nothing whatsoever in the wording of that provision or in the Court’s case-law to suggest that that right is inviolable and must for that reason be absolutely protected. . . . [T]he protection of the fundamental right to property, which includes the rights linked to intellectual property, must be balanced against the protection of other fundamental rights. More specifically, . . . in the context of measures adopted to protect copyright holders, national authorities and courts must strike a fair balance between the protection of copyright and the protection of the fundamental rights of individuals who are affected by such measures.”



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