ISPs Cannot Be Ordered to Adopt General and Preventive Filtering Systems

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In Scarlet Extended SA v SABAM, the ECJ held that EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which imposes on internet service providers (ISPs) the adoption, at their expense and for an unlimited period, of a general and preventive filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal sharing of electronic files containing musical, cinematographic, or audiovisual works. In reaching its decision, the court stressed the need to strike a fair balance between copyright protection and the right of ISPs to conduct business freely as well as the right of their customers to protect personal data and receive or impart information.

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