For years, leisure business teams have been demanding that search engines like google and yahoo do one thing about “pirate websites” displaying up of their search outcomes.
In France, this prompted music business group SNEP to take the matter to court docket. Representing three native artists, they demanded automated search engine filters from each Google and Microsoft.
Earlier than the Excessive Court docket of Paris the music group argued that, when paired with the artist names, “torrent” associated searches predominantly hyperlink to pirated content material.
To counter this, they demanded a filter that may block outcomes for these searches for the key phrase “torrent,” in addition to web sites that embody the identical phrase of their area title.
SNEP based mostly its request on Article L336-2 of France’s mental property code, which states that “all acceptable measures” are permitted to forestall copyright infringement. The identical article has been used earlier than to drive Google and Bing to make varied different pirate websites disappear.
Nonetheless, within the current instances the Excessive Courtroom of Paris determined in opposition to the music business group, Nextinpact experiences.
Of their protection Microsoft had warned that the broad filtering system requested by the music group could be imprecise, disproportionate and inefficient, one thing the court docket agreed with.
Whereas French legislation permits far-reaching anti-piracy measures, it additionally states that it’s essential to protect the rights of particular person Web customers, akin to freedom of expression and communication. An overbroad filtering scheme would go towards this precept.
“SNEP’s requests are basic, and pertain to not a particular website however to all web sites accessible by the said strategies, with out consideration for figuring out and even figuring out the positioning’s content material, on the premise that the time period ‘Torrent’ is essentially related to infringing content material,” the Courtroom writes in its order.
Extra particularly, the court docket notes that the phrase “torrent” has many reputable makes use of, as does the BitTorrent protocol, which is a impartial communication know-how. Because of this blocking all the things “torrent” associated is prone to censor authorized content material as effectively.
“But [torrent] is primarily a standard noun, with a which means in French and in English; it additionally refers to a impartial communication protocol developed by the corporate Bittorrent that permits entry to lawfully downloaded recordsdata.
“The requested measures are thus tantamount to common monitoring and will block entry to lawful web sites,” the Excessive Courtroom order provides.
For Article L336-2 to be invoked, the preventive anti-piracy measures have to guard a wider vary of artists and rightsholders.
Because of this each “torrent” filtering requests haven’t been rejected. As an alternative, the music group has been ordered to pay Microsoft and Bing 10,000 to cowl authorized charges and prices.
Curiously, French media highlights that TorrentFreak would have been routinely censored if Google and Microsoft would have misplaced their case. In any case, our URL contains the phrase torrent.
Which means a mere point out of the artists’ names would have been sufficient to make an article disappear from the search outcomes.
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