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ECJ: Social nets not obliged to block file-sharing

February 17, 2012

Social networking websites cannot be forced to install anti-piracy software in a bid to stop members illegally file-sharing. The ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is in a case between Belgian-based social network Netlog and SABAM, a music royalities collection firm also based in Belgium.

“The owner of an online social network cannot be obliged to install a general filtering system, covering all its users, in order to prevent the unlawful use of musical and audio-visual work,” the ECJ said.

“Such an injunction would result in a serious infringement of Netlog’s freedom to conduct its business since it would require Netlog to install a complicated, costly, permanent computer system at its own expense.”

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