LEIGH PHILLIPS, 09.10.2008 @ 18:16 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Parliament’s rejection of a proposed “three strikes” law – that would see internet users have their connection cut off if they have been found to repeatedly violate copyright – must be respected, the commission said at an EUobserver-organised conference on internet rights.
Post from: TorrentFreak
This August The Pirate Bay was ‘censored’ in Italy following a decree from a public prosecutor. The Pirate Bay appealed the block and eventually won the court case. Earlier this week the Court of Bergamo detailed its decision, and ruled that no foreign website can be censored for alleged copyright infringement.
Two months ago, following an order from an Italian prosecutor, ISPs started to prevent their customers from accessing the Pirate Bay. The administrators of the popular BitTorrent tracker were accused of making copyrighted material available on the Internet for commercial purposes.
Of course, the Pirate Bay team didn’t agree, and responded in true Pirate Bay style. ‘We’re quite used to fascist countries not allowing freedom of speech. A lot of smaller nations that have dictators decide to block our site since we can help spread information that could be harmful to the dictators,’ Sunde wrote in a blog entry.
The BitTorrent tracker was not going down without a fight, and later announced that it would appeal the decision in court, which they won. The block was lifted and ISPs could again grant their users access to the most frequently used BitTorrent tracker on the Internet.
The Court of Bergamo decided that this block was unlawful, and earlier this week they explained why. According to the court statement (Italian), no criminal court is allowed to issue an order to ISPs to block traffic to a foreign website, based on alleged copyright infringement. Italian law implements an European Directive, 2000/31 CE, which this means that this ruling should be valid in other European countries as well.
‘Under Italian law, this is possible only for child porn and for unauthorized gambling, but there is no such provision for copyright infringement,’ Pirate Bay’s lawyers Giovanni Battista Gallus and Francesco Micozzi explained to TorrentFreak.
‘We have to make sure that no legislative bill promoting such filtering provisions will be passed in the future. At the European level, many authorities pointed out the need to find a balance between the enforcement of alleged copyright infringements, users’ rights, and privacy issues.’
In hindsight, the block only helped the Pirate Bay to grow even further. The case generated a lot of free promotion, and the number of visitors from Italy increased by 5 percent. Not exactly the outcome IFPI had hoped for.