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Case Law of the European Court of Justice

15 Mar 2012

On 16 February 2012, the ECJ adopted a decision regarding instalment of a system for filtering information which is stored on Netlog servers by its service users as a preventative measure against infringement of intellectual-property rights.

SABAM, a company representing authors, composers and publishers of musical works, claimed that Netlog’s social network offers all users the opportunity to make use the musical and audio-visual works in SABAM’s repertoire, making those works available to the public in such a way that other users of that network can have access to them without SABAM’s consent and without Netlog paying it any fee. However, introduction of a filtering system could mean that an entity monitoring personal data would have to comply with the provisions of EU law relating to the protection of personal data and the confidentiality of communications.

Following the decision in the Promusicae case [2008] ECR I‑271, the Court ruled that putting the hosting service provider under obligation to install the contested filtering system would not comply with the requirement that a fair balance be struck between the right to intellectual property, on the one hand, and the freedom to conduct business, the right to protection of personal data and the freedom to receive or impart information, on the other (cf. paragraph 51). For more information see.

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