The French court has ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs ) to block streaming sites and search engines to stop their SEO, which is a world first.
On November 28th, the Paris court ordered streaming websites offering the distribution of to be blocked by French ISP. This decree also requires specific search engines to stop websites SEO. This is a victorious outcome for movie producers and distributors unions, after two years of extensive legal offensive against digital piracy.
The French justice has finally found that these streaming sites were “fully dedicated or virtually dedicated to the representation of audiovisual works without the approval of their authors” thus undermining the rights of some professionals in the movie industry.
This judgment therefore orders referred to by access Orange, Bouygues Telecom, Numericable, Free, SFR and Darty Telecom to ” implement and / or to implement […] all appropriate measures to block access by any effective means, on the French territory ” to a range of sites.
Here are the websites affected by the decision of the Paris court:
Google, Microsoft , Yahoo! and Orange Search engines of are thus ordered to ” take all necessary measures to prevent their services to offer SEO referring to one of the pages ” of these free movie access portals.
These measures must be applied “without delay and at most within 15 days after the implementation of such court decision and for a 12-month duration after the implementation of such measures”.
“This is a world first, for delisting pirate websites by search engines and a crucial step towards the rule of law on the Internet” as stated to AFP by a representative of the group of French main producers and distributors associations, such as the Association of film Producers (APC), the National Federation of film Distributors (FNDF), the Association of Independent producers (SPI) … which teamed up to launch the case.
Web users’ activists are extremely annoyed by such a law decision. “This judgment has once again endorsed private censorship approaches that keep on growing all over the Internet and undermine fundamental human rights,” said Felix Tréguer, the founding member of La Quadrature du Net.
However, this aim to prevent the illegal distribution of movies may not fit with European rights. ISPs could argue about such decision by referring to the judgment made by the European Court of Justice in November 2011 indicating that the establishment of a system for filtering and blocking electronic communications represents an infringement of European citizens’ fundamentals rights.
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