Court ruling confirms Internet Service Providers must act to stop web piracy
Recording industry hails Danish ruling that ISPs must prevent customers using their service to infringe copyright
London, February 15, 2006
IFPI today welcomed a decision by the Danish Supreme Court confirming that Internet Service Providers can be obliged to terminate the internet connections of customers engaged in internet piracy.
The case, involving two individuals operating illegal FTP servers, will set an important precedent for the responsibilities of ISPs in cases involving illegal filesharing. ISPs may now face action by copyright owners, requiring them to stop providing internet services to customers that use those services to distribute copyright material over peer-to-peer networks. The decision is based on EU copyright laws and will have implications across the European Union.
Friday's ruling of the Danish Supreme Court ends a long-running legal battle between telecommunications company TDC and Denmark's AntiPiracyGroup, representing copyright owners from the Danish music and film industries.
The ruling will oblige TDC, and other ISPs, to act immediately when they are notified that one of their customers is using their internet account to infringe copyright. In the event of non-compliance, copyright owners will be able to ask the court for an injunction against the service provider.
IFPI General Counsel and Executive Vice President Geoff Taylor said: "This decision is good news for artists, record labels and copyright owners across the EU. It makes it clear that, in future, ISPs will be expected to play a much greater role in fighting copyright theft on the internet. It sends a strong message to ISPs across Europe."
Jakob Plesner of the Danish AntiPiracy Group said: "The ruling is very important in the fight against illegal distribution of copyright content on the internet. The Supreme Court has ruled that ISPs must stop illegal activities by closing down internet connections used for the illegal distribution of music, films and written material."
The ruling will help us speed up substantially actions by copyright owners against illegal file-sharing in Denmark. At present, illegal file-sharers face legal action only after a time-consuming process by which rights owners have to present evidence to court to obtain the name and address of the relevant user.
The AntiPiracyGroup consists of the members of: IFPI Denmark, Danish Video Distributors Association, Danish Film Distributors Association, KODA (Composers, Publishers and Songwriters in Denmark), Nordic Copyright Bureau, the Danish Musicians' Union and the Danish Artists Association.
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