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Pirate Bay Blocking Legal? Dutch Supreme Court Seeks Clarification by EU Court

Postby sunnyd » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:39 pm

In a report by Reuters, the Dutch Supreme court has referred a landmark case against TPB today to the European Court of Justice, a move that could easily prove to have a significant impact in the war against TPB and other file-sharing sites in EU.

This will be the first time the highest European Union court will have to make a judgment regarding the legality of blocking file-sharing websites. Users in the Netherlands currently have full access to TPB but that could easily change based on what happens as a result of this latest challenge.

In January of 2014, as we previously reported, the Court of Appeals in The Hague overturned a 2012 ruling and lifted the block on The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands that was previously ordered for some ISPs. The court felt that the block was ineffective and disproportionate for ISPs since there was no proof that subscribers had used the Pirate Bay to download and exchange movies, music and games.

The court in Luxembourg has been asked to consider two main points; whether The Pirate Bay's actions infringe European copyright laws, and also to what extent a court can order ISPs to block subscribers’ access to illegal websites.

We’ve seen numerous incidents of blocking TPB already in many other countries, but this case may be the one that sets a precedent for standards on file-sharing site blocking all across EU. The European Court will make a recommendation based on questions that have arisen, and the Dutch Supreme Court will make the final determination.

Stay tuned for updates.

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