Last year we discussed, in the context of copyright infringement, whether an Internet service provider could be required to block access to a specific web page. The conclusion was that current law did not expressly provide for such measures but attempts to apply them could not be ruled out. But a number of legislative proposals have appeared recently calling for blocking of Internet content that does not infringe copyright.
According to an Advocate General at the Court of Justice, a provider of free WiFi is not responsible for the actions of its users.
Can a controlled attack on a computer system to identify its security weaknesses violate copyright or trade secrets?
Can internet service providers be ordered to block a specific website?
Blocking websites has recently become a popular method for combating legal violations, particularly in the context of copyright protection. It’s enough to glance at the rulings from the last few months. In late May a court in Tel Aviv ordered Israeli ISPs to block access to a service where films and TV shows could be viewed without the consent of the copyright holders using the BitTorrent protocol. This followed in the trail of the English High Court, which less than a month earlier issued a very similar injunction. And shortly thereafter the same court order British ISPs to block access to portals offering e-books without authorisation.
It is often said that the law cannot keep up with the pace of a changing reality, particularly technological progress. This is evident for example in the rules for representation of businesses, which are poorly adapted to online transactions. Fortunately the courts approach this problem with understanding.
Bitcoin opened up a spectrum of possibilities and a legal Pandora’s Box. But block chain—the technology on which Bitcoin is based—generates even greater potential and further legal challenges.