French & German Courts Disagree Whether Internet Companies Need To Filter
from the still-not-clear dept
Recently, Techdirt reported on the ruling by a German court on the issue of filtering -- whether Internet sites have a responsibility to block files continually if they have been notified about infringing materials once, sometimes called "Notice and Stay Down". The German court basically said they do, but the highest French court has taken a different view (French original.)
The Court of Appeal in Paris had ruled that Google had a duty to make sure that an unauthorized copy of a film was not re-posted to YouTube after it had been removed following a complaint. However, the Court of Cassation, the court of final appeal for civil and criminal matters in France, struck down this judgment. Its logic was as follows: if a Web site were expected to take down every future copy of a file that had been removed following a complaint, but without being told exactly where the new copies were located, the only way it could achieve that was by constantly monitoring all users to check that they were not uploading that file. That, the Court of Cassation ruled, was not proportionate and, furthermore, forbidden by European law (presumably a reference to the SABAM ruling from earlier this year.)
That's the good news. The bad news is that HADOPI threatens to rear its ugly head here. According to the same post on the French PC Inpact site, Article L336-2 of the HADOPI law introduced an extremely broad duty to do everything possible to stop copyright infringement. Quite what that means in practice has never been tested, but following the Court of Cassation's rejection of filtering, it seems likely that we shall find out soon enough.