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The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has a verdict from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which confirms that blocking infringing sites is a proportionate and valid measure to be implemented by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
According to the MPA, the decision by the CJEU is an important milestone in the creative industries’ ongoing efforts to curb online piracy and sets a clear legal framework across the EU confirming existing national court decisions. Furthermore, it sends a strong signal to ISPs that website blocking is an effective measure to reduce overall infringement. The CJEU re-confirms that intermediaries in general are best placed to tackle copyright infringement.
On 15 June 2012, the Austrian Supreme Court referred the case, Constantin Film and Wega v. UPC Telekabel Wien, better known as the kino.to case, to the CJEU asking for clarifications about site-blocking and the ability of the creative industries to address online copyright infringement in the EU. Kino.to was one of the largest pirate streaming portal sites for German-speaking territories with a top 40 ranking on Alexa.com and up to four million visitors per day.
Chris Marcich, President and Managing Director of the MPA EMEA said the verdict meant that rights-holders would continue to have the ability to secure balanced website blocking orders from national courts across the EU to address infringing sites. “I am particularly encouraged by the strong stance the CJEU has taken in relation to the responsibility of intermediaries to address copyright infringement. A sustainable Internet that benefits all must operate fairly, with proportionate and balanced rules. We must all play a constructive role in this aim including search engines who continue to lead consumers to illegal money-making sites,” he declared.
“The film industry is working hard every day to develop new, innovative and consumer-friendly platforms delivering the shows and movies that audiences want to see – whilst ensuring that the creators and makers get compensated for their hard work. The result is that citizens in Europe now have access to more audiovisual content on more devices than ever before, including over 3,000 legal on demand video services. Today’s result means that these services will be competing on a more level playing field,” he stated.