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Blocking injunction requisites - The balancing of rights and other aspects of blocking injunctions towards intermediaries

Husberg, Martin LU (2015) LAGM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract
The increased significance of intellectual property rights, rapid development of easier dissemination of protected works and the subsequent concern for protection has lead right holders to continuously seek new ways of countering online piracy. In the past decade, a new regime of targeting online intermediaries with blocking injunctions has emerged, supported by the legislative powers of the European Union. Without actually being liable for infringement, intermediaries find themselves court ordered to implement blocking injunctions purposed to discourage Internet users from accessing illegal content. This phenomenon raises a multitude of issues concerning the appropriateness of bestowing obligations upon an innocent intermediary and... (More)
The increased significance of intellectual property rights, rapid development of easier dissemination of protected works and the subsequent concern for protection has lead right holders to continuously seek new ways of countering online piracy. In the past decade, a new regime of targeting online intermediaries with blocking injunctions has emerged, supported by the legislative powers of the European Union. Without actually being liable for infringement, intermediaries find themselves court ordered to implement blocking injunctions purposed to discourage Internet users from accessing illegal content. This phenomenon raises a multitude of issues concerning the appropriateness of bestowing obligations upon an innocent intermediary and balancing property right interests with respect for fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression and information, freedom to conduct a business and data privacy protection concerns. These issues are highlighted when trying to discern the legal requisites for issuing a blocking injunction, given how the interpretation of a common legal framework has diverged in the member states applying them.
A study of the European Court of Justice’s case law paired with the doctrine surrounding the legal framework reveals a core set of requisites that must be taken into account for the court tasked with assessing a blocking order application. Of these requisites, the proportionality assessment surface as the particularly complex issue. However, its complexity serves to highlight the importance of merely taking all the listed requisites and factors into account, while the balancing act contained within this assessment remains a question of legal review in casu. Further clarity and legal foreseeability as to the particular requisites and their consideration is thus required for the sake of harmonization, but the proportionality assessment is not in such a dire need of restructuring as some may argue. The well-established nationality of especially copyright protection, where differing legal traditions affect the assessment, poses more of a hindrance to a clear and foreseeable harmonization of assessing blocking injunctions. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Den ökade betydelsen av immateriella rättigheter, utvecklade möjligheter till lättare spridning av skyddat material och därigenom ett ökat skyddsbehov har föranlett rättighetsinnehavare att söka nya tillvägagångssätt för bekämpning av immaterialrättsintrång online. Under det senaste årtiondet har ett nytt vapen i form av förbudsförelägganden mot mellanhänder trätt fram. Utan något faktiskt ansvar för eget intrång åläggs mellanhänder, såsom internetleverantörer och siter, att implementera blockeringsåtgärder i syfte att motverka internetanvändares åtkomst till innehåll som gjorts tillgängligt på olagligt sätt. Detta har väckt en lång rad tolkningsfrågor kring ändamålsenligheten i att belasta oskyldiga mellanhänder med långtgående... (More)
Den ökade betydelsen av immateriella rättigheter, utvecklade möjligheter till lättare spridning av skyddat material och därigenom ett ökat skyddsbehov har föranlett rättighetsinnehavare att söka nya tillvägagångssätt för bekämpning av immaterialrättsintrång online. Under det senaste årtiondet har ett nytt vapen i form av förbudsförelägganden mot mellanhänder trätt fram. Utan något faktiskt ansvar för eget intrång åläggs mellanhänder, såsom internetleverantörer och siter, att implementera blockeringsåtgärder i syfte att motverka internetanvändares åtkomst till innehåll som gjorts tillgängligt på olagligt sätt. Detta har väckt en lång rad tolkningsfrågor kring ändamålsenligheten i att belasta oskyldiga mellanhänder med långtgående förpliktelser, och synliggjort behovet av att balansera immateriella rättigheter mot grundläggande rättigheter såsom yttrande- och informationsfrihet, näringsfrihet och skydd av personuppgifter. Frågeställningarna träder särskilt fram i ljuset av försöken att utröna de enskilda rekvisiten för utfärdande av sådana förelägganden; tolkningarna av det gemensamma regelverket har kraftigt avvikit mellan de olika medlemsstaternas domstolar.

Genom studier av EU-domstolens praxis kombinerat med den doktrin som omgärdar de rättsliga ramarna åskådliggörs en kärna av rekvisit nödvändiga för den domstol som ställs inför en begäran om blockering. Av dessa rekvisit framträder proportionalitetskravet som särskilt svårbedömt. Dess komplexitet belyser dock snarare de ackumulerade rekvisitens samlade betydelse, varpå balanseringen av rättigheterna förblir en fråga in casu som ankommer på den nationella domstolen. Rekvisiten är förvisso i behov av fortsatta klargöranden och förutsebarhet, men proportionalitetsbedömningen är inte i ett sådant skriande behov av omstrukturering som vissa gör gällande. Den i hög grad nationella präglingen av immaterialrätter medlemsstater emellan utgör ett större hinder för en tydlig och förutsebar harmonisering av blockering via förbudsförelägganden. (Less)
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author
Husberg, Martin LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU law, intellectual property, IP, copyright, harmonization
language
English
id
5431920
date added to LUP
2015-06-08 11:45:48
date last changed
2015-06-08 11:45:48
@misc{5431920,
  abstract     = {The increased significance of intellectual property rights, rapid development of easier dissemination of protected works and the subsequent concern for protection has lead right holders to continuously seek new ways of countering online piracy. In the past decade, a new regime of targeting online intermediaries with blocking injunctions has emerged, supported by the legislative powers of the European Union. Without actually being liable for infringement, intermediaries find themselves court ordered to implement blocking injunctions purposed to discourage Internet users from accessing illegal content. This phenomenon raises a multitude of issues concerning the appropriateness of bestowing obligations upon an innocent intermediary and balancing property right interests with respect for fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression and information, freedom to conduct a business and data privacy protection concerns. These issues are highlighted when trying to discern the legal requisites for issuing a blocking injunction, given how the interpretation of a common legal framework has diverged in the member states applying them. 
 A study of the European Court of Justice’s case law paired with the doctrine surrounding the legal framework reveals a core set of requisites that must be taken into account for the court tasked with assessing a blocking order application. Of these requisites, the proportionality assessment surface as the particularly complex issue. However, its complexity serves to highlight the importance of merely taking all the listed requisites and factors into account, while the balancing act contained within this assessment remains a question of legal review in casu. Further clarity and legal foreseeability as to the particular requisites and their consideration is thus required for the sake of harmonization, but the proportionality assessment is not in such a dire need of restructuring as some may argue. The well-established nationality of especially copyright protection, where differing legal traditions affect the assessment, poses more of a hindrance to a clear and foreseeable harmonization of assessing blocking injunctions.},
  author       = {Husberg, Martin},
  keyword      = {EU law,intellectual property,IP,copyright,harmonization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Blocking injunction requisites - The balancing of rights and other aspects of blocking injunctions towards intermediaries},
  year         = {2015},
}