The end of file sharing?

An advocate general of the European Court of Justice has introduced a new approach in the fight against illegal file sharing. He suggested the Court to order internet service providers to block The Pirate Bay website. If the Court accepts this suggestion it may open a new chapter in battling copyright infringement. An attorney of KPMG Legal Tóásó Law Firm, dr. Gergő Szimler summarizes below.

The European Court of Justice may make impossible the operation of “The Pirate Bay” file sharing website very soon. A copyright protection foundation requested a Dutch court to order internet service providers to block website. The foundation argues that copyright infringements are committed through this website, because it provides a platform for illegal file sharing.

The opinion of the European Court of Justice was requested by the Dutch court.
The Dutch court requested the European Court to ascertain whether an action may be brought against an internet service provider who makes it possible for users to access copyrighted works (for example movies and software) illegally. The novelty of the approach is that the action is planned to be brought against not only file sharers, but also the service provider giving a platform for copyright infringements.

The current development is that Mr. Maciej Szpunar, advocate general of the European Court of Justice submitted his opinion to the Court envisaging an even more vigorous response. According to the advocate general, internet service providers may be held directly liable for copyright infringements using internet access they provide. Furthermore, he also suggests to block the website in question.

The advocate general’s opinion is not binding on the European Court of Justice, which is expected to issue its decision mid-June. If the European Court of Justice follows the opinion of advocate general Szpunar, this would allow more effective actions against illegal file sharers.

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