back to article Belgian ISP does not have to filter out copyright-infringing traffic

Belgian ISP Scarlet should not have to filter copyright-infringing traffic from its service because to do so would invade users' privacy, an advisor to the EU's top court has said. Scarlet had been ordered by a Belgian court to filter traffic that infringed copyrights belonging to members of artists' rights agency Sabam ( …


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  1. Juan Inamillion

    A victory for common sense?

    And by the ECJ no less.


    1. Marvin the Martian
      IT Angle

      Possibly helped...

      SABAM is one of the most hated and inefficient institutes*, even by Belgian standards. So that gives a bit of a nudge in the reasonable direction.

      *They're supposed to collect royalties for all kinds of content producers, but cost slightly more to collect them than the total collected. So it's double pay: every pound collected is then matched by a pound from the state/taxpayer, to correct for the pound they spend. And if you're a bunch of 17yolds organising a party in a scouts local, you'll have to pay them or fear a midnight visit from them.

  2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Audible Magic

    Regardless of whether it is legal or not...

    How exactly does Audible Magic work? Is the clue in the name? It manages to recognise from a collection of '1's and '0's that a number of blocks contain the digital impression of their copyrighted works (perhaps sounds encoded as MP3, Ogg, Flac, Wav, etc., or a video encoded as MPEG2, MPEG4, FLV, MOV, etc.).

    Then it manages to work out if that is being transferred legally or not; it is in transit after being bought by a user for their iPod, or are they streaming Radio Belgium on their PC? Perhaps they are viewing a trailer for a film on a cinema times website?

    Otherwise, the best they can do is look for packets that look a certain way, and all that will happen is that the packet will be changed to look different. Eventually the packets will be changed to look like https, and then there will be no way to differentiate them from anything else on the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Defeating fingerprint checking.

      As easy as rar-ing with a password.

    2. Andrew Norton

      it's easy

      A good friend of mine (he's the researcher over at TorrentFreak) looked into it years ago.

      It works by a 'fingerprint'. If it matches a fingerprint, then it is infringing, and whatever action set in the system happens. It costs $60k or so to set up, plus you have to pay for quarterly subscriptions ($15k/year for Ohio State Uni -

      It's the same kind of system system also used by youtube and myspace.

      Now, to get the fingerprint int he first place, someone has to submit it. Yep, that costs too. And last I checked, there's no requirement to prove you're the copyright owner. That's what happened with Edwyn Starr and myspace a year or two back.

      Oh, and it doesn't work on non-sequential systems (like bittorrent/ed2k - OR if the file has been encapsulated (such as rar'd)

      Gotta love it, eh

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I looked in to this too.

        I think most of my research came from torrent freak, but as far as I can tell, the university system just spraffs RST packets to reset the connection at both ends causing a dos. That's fine for a moderate LAN, but it wouldn't scale nicely. Plus getting kicked out of uni is probably more of a deterrent than getting a bollocking of your isp.



    Take note.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this apply to HADOPI- and DEA-style laws, and if so, in what way?

  5. vincent himpe

    i suggest blocking all content

    that will also effectively deal with spam , viruses, botnets, trojans, worms , ddos attacks , unwanted emails and many other annoyances.

  6. Mectron

    Prevention is the solution!

    Like in:

    Prevent the RIAA/MPAA and it;s internationa branches from snooping on internet users (it is illegal anyway)

    Prevent the RIAA/MPAA and it;s internationa branches from bypassing the justice system. if they suspect illegal activities, they must complain to the police, who will process it in order of imporantce, in 2 or 2 millions years.

  7. Elmer Phud


    I guess it's like trying to prosecute the Highways Agency (or whatever they are called this week) for allowing people or booze, fags and other drugs to be transported along motorways.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    All *european* ISP's

    Please take note.

    Copyright enforcement is *not* your responsibility.

    Let me just repeat that message.

    Copyright enforcement is *not* your responsibility.

    In *any* EU country. Nor is it theft, despite assorted whining from Big Media.

    Thumbs up for this clarification.

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