A Brussels court has upheld its earlier ruling that ISP Scarlet must prevent users from infringing copyright on peer-to-peer networks.
It follows the July 2007 Court of First Instance verdict where Belgian authors' rights association SABAM obtained a €2,500 ($3,220) daily penalty from Scarlet, with the court ruling stating that the internet service provider had to use technical measures to stop its users engaging in illegal downloading.
However, on Oct. 22 2008 the court ruled that the ISP wasn't given sufficient time to explore and test different options to prevent P2P infringements and decided consequently that these fines were not due.
"Sabam has announced from the start [it will] not cash in the fines, adding up to some €750,000," says Thierry Dachelet, director communications at Sabam. "But on the other hand, the same ruling confirms that, from Nov. 1 onwards, Scarlet is facing a new daily fine of €2,500 ($3,220) until they come up with a viable solution. We do not intend to cashing in the amount due until the decision in [the] appeal expected at the end of 2009."
The recent court ruling stated that blocking or filtering solutions, like the Audible Magic system suggested by Sabam, were not thoroughly tested by Scarlet and that the ISP should examine every possible solution to prevent P2P copyright infringements and confirmed the fine is in place from Nov. 1.
"This is like a delay of execution, and strong pressure remains on Scarlet," Dachelet added.
It is understood that Scarlet has not met the Nov. 1 court deadline. A legal representative from Scarlet told Billboard.biz that it was a "technical impossibility to comply with the ruling."