A court in Belgium has ruled that an Internet Service Provider bears the responsibility for stopping illegal file-sharing on its network. Although the ruling was made in Belgium, it relies on the E.U. copyright directive and may set precedent for the entire Union according to IFPI, an organization that represents the recording industry world wide.
According to the IFPI this could set a precent for the entire EU.
This is rubbish.
Firstly, the assertion by the IFPI that a ruling in a lower Court in Belgium sets an EU wide precedent is ludicrous. Only the European Court of Justice can do that.
Furthermore, each State has its own implementing measures for the EU Directive (it isn't a Regulation), this varies country by country. The Belgium decision would only set precedent for that countries Statute.
Secondly, I know vicarious liability is excluded in the UK's implementation of the Copyright Directive by Sections 97a and 191(j)(a) which requires a service provider to have "actual knowledge of another person using their service to infringe copyright". So unless the ISP is specifically informed about infringement they won't have to do anything.
The Directive also has common carrier provisions. Recital 27 of the Copyright Directive
the mere provision of physical facilities for enabling or making a communication does not itself amount to communication within the meaning of the DirectiveThis makes it express that ISP's do not come under the Directive.
Poor decision and needs to be appealed.