European Court of Justice ruling on blocking piracy websites shows UK got it right

Case: C-314/12 UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbH

The following article, gives details of the judgment of 20 February 2012, of the honourable Mr Justice Arnold. Mr Justice Arnold held that the users and operators of The Pirate Bay had infringed the Claimants copyright.

 

The Claimants’ were rights-holders (or organisations acting on behalf of rights-holders) and the Defendant’s were ISPs. The UK court granted an injunction pursuant to S97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“the 1988 Act”), which implements Article 8(3) of European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001, to block or at-least impede access to The Pirate Bay.

 

The UK court got the judgment right. The European Court of Justice, amongst other things, seeks to harmonise EU law, making sure it is applied in the same way across the EU. On the 27th March 2014, the Luxemburg court held that EU ISPs can be ordered to block or impede access to websites that were infringing copyright such as The Pirate Bay.

 

The full citation of the case is Case: C-314/12 UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbH. You can read the full judgment here.

Conclusion

Crucially internet users and ISPs’ can assert their rights before the court. The ruling gives national authorities and courts some autonomy to address the circumstances of each case in implementing the ruling.

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