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Court Decision

Belgian ISPs agree to block 450 ‘pirate’ domains

A Belgian solution to the problem of counterfeiting
Thee three main Belgian ISPs Proximus, Telenet and VOO are joining with right holders and are now blocking 33 websites and 450 domains on copyright grounds. People who are now trying to access these sites will see an ‘online fair play’ message from the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA). After a year-long legal dispute, the film and music industry and the main internet service providers have decided, on the basis of a joint request, to go to the Brussels French Commercial Court. This case was held in March 2018. The European legislator has set up a mechanism that allows the national judge to issue injunctions to order suppliers to block access to the websites. The BEA and Internet service providers have agreed on a list of 33 websites and 450 domain names that they believe are guilty of facilitating illegal...
Court Decision

Belgian Supreme Court, 29 April 2016, ref. C.15.0052.F

Nearly two years after the European Court of Justice has issued its famous judgment on the right to be forgotten, in its famous Google Spain Case, the Belgian Court of Cassation has for the first time decided itself on the matter (Cass. 29 April 2016, n° C.15.0052.F). On 29th April 2016, the Belgian Court decided that the right to privacy and right to be forgotten expressed by the claimant justify the limitation of the right to freedom of expression from the newspaper Le Soir. Therefore, Le Soir was ordered to remove the name of the applicant from the archives section of its printed newspaper. According to the Court, the right to be forgotten is a component of the right of personal privacy (Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms). The protection of the right to privacy...

Belgium Study on blocking, filtering and take-down of illegal Internet content

(prepared by Swiss Institute of Comparative Law for Council of Europe)
This is one of series of country reports prepared for the Council of Europe in 2015. Other countries' reports, and responses from national governments, are available here. [The report for Belgium is also available in French on the site.] The studies undertake to present the laws and, in so far as information is easily available, the practices concerning the filtering, blocking and takedown of illegal content on the internet.
Court Decision

Brussels Court of Appeal, Civil, Scarlet Extended SA/NV v. SABAM (“The Tiscali/Scarlet case”), R.G. 2007/AR/2424, January 1, 2010

The Court of Appeal of Brussels had to answer the question whether an internet service provider could be required to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files. The Court had to consider the extent to which Internet service providers should support the operational and financial burden of the fight against piracy. Given the complexity of the matter, the Brussels Court of Appeal decided to refer two questions to the ECJ before deciding: (1) Can ISPs be compelled to take preventive technical measures in order to prevent illegal downloading? (2) If yes, to what extent technical and financial burdens can be imposed on them? See also the ECJ's Scarlet Extended judgment.

Law of December 15, 2013, introducing Book XII, Electronic Commercial Law [Droit de l’économie électronique] in the Belgian Commercial Law Codification [entered into force on May, 31 2014]

Book XII contains the Belgian implementation of the European e-commerce Directive, which includes in its “Section 4: Liability of intermediary service providers” specific provisions related to safe harbours for information service providers providing mere conduit, catching and/or hosting activities
Court Decision

Anvers Court of Appeal, Civil, The Belgian Anti-piracy federation ASBL/VZW v. Telenet SA/NV & Belgacom SA/NV (“The Pirate Bay case I), No. 3399/Rep. 2011/9314, September, 26 2011

Reversing the decision of the Anvers Court of First Instance of July, 8 2010 and ordering Belgian ISPs, Telenet and Belgacom, to block DNS extensions for 11 domain names related to ThePirateBay. The Court clarified that ISPs do not themselves infringe copyright and are not liable for the content transmitting though their services. However, the safe harbours included in the e-commerce Directive do not prevent the court to order them to block infringing webistes, if, according to Article 8.2 of the Infosoc Directive "their services are used by a third party to infringe a copyright or a related right." These blocking orders, the Court continued, do not impose on the ISPs a general obligation to monitor the information that they transmit because the injunction only concerns a number of exhaustively mentioned domain names...