The European Court of Justice will give its ruling on the notable case between Belgian music rights group SABAM and Internet service provider Scarlet. SABAM has been demanding Scarlet to set up filters to monitor customers’ communication to and fro in the website and to report and stop if they attempt to infringe the copyright protection SABAM enjoys.
SABAM had already got a favorable court order from the lower court against Scarlet, however Scarlet could not implement this as the mandated Audible Magic fingerprinting system by which they were asked to perform the filter was not working. Further appeal proceedings have been directed against SABAM group and they have come up before the European Court of Justice which will give its ruling soon.
Experts suggest that monitoring the communications of the customers to check whether there is any sending/receiving of copyrighted material would mean monitoring their network activity in its entirety which would come as a serious threat to their privacy. One of the most serious drawbacks of this kind of filtering is the effect it can have on legitimate activity. SABAM’s list of musical ‘fingerprints’ is non-negotiable and would block the transfer of any material matching them, potentially affecting legitimate parties.
Report by Anupama