EU court rules ISPs can’t be forced to filter out illegal content

The European Court of Justice this morning ruled that content owners can not strong-arm Internet service providers (ISPs) into filtering out copyright-infringing content.

This case has its origin in a dispute between ISP Scarlet and SABAM, a Belgian management company responsible for authorizing the use by third parties of the musical works of authors, composers and editors. In 2004, the right-holders group established that users of Scarlet’s services were downloading such musical works from its catalogue by means of peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing networks.