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Old 16 Apr 2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default Anti-Piracy Laws May Be Infringing Human Rights, Says Senior EU Legal Advisor

Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón, a senior advisor to EU judges, thinks that the latest round of anti-piracy legislation being considered in European countries may infringe human rights.

New laws, like those in Belgium, are designed to ensure ISPs detect and block access to websites and services deemed inappropriate by copyright holders, and Mr Cruz Villalón says that these kinds of laws unfairly restricts a person's rights and privacy of communication.

Mr Cruz Villalón also questioned the lack of transparency, oversight and rights of appeal as European governments pass harsher copyright laws at the lobbying request of Hollywood studios and major record labels. "Neither the filtering system, which is intended to be applied on a systematic, universal, permanent and perpetual basis, nor the blocking mechanism, which can be activated without any provision being made for the persons affected to challenge it or object to it, are coupled with adequate safeguards," he said.

Mr Cruz Villalón's statements were part of a submission to the European Court of Justice, in a dispute between Belgin ISP Scarlet and music rights group SABAM. Mr Cruz Villalón's influential status amongst EU judges could have a significant bearing on any verdicts passed by the court, and if the court follows Mr Cruz Villalón's recommendations, then it could spell trouble for any European country, including the UK, thinking of adopting web filters or three strikes systems in the future.
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Old 16 Apr 2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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