Israeli ISPs Blocked Access to a File Sharing Site


By the order of the court, the formal Defendants 2-3, the Israeli ISPs, have blocked access to the Defendant’s website, Ynet, following it’s publication of slandering content claiming that Plaintiff engaged in sexual activity with a herd of sick sheep. The Publication, made by an anonymous commenter, was taken down. However, according to the plaintiff, a man with great reputation, the system’s internal architecture enables comments including slander, and therefore, until blocked, it must be shut down.

This how a redundant article may appear in one of the Israeli News Sites in a year or so, after they do not go out against wrongfully decided court decisions such as OCR 3485/08 NM v. Eli Amar. The Decision, given two weeks ago and published today on Ynet determines that Israeli Internet Service Providers shall block access to a website enabling users to engage in file-sharing, since it, allegedly, provides likes to torrents. (See also, C 167/07 NMC v. Amar)

This is not the only decision with exists in the current era. New Sound Interactive, requested that Israeli ISPs block access to PaNet, a website which allegedly infringes its copyright. These requests came to Israel after a busy month in fighting world censorship. First of all, a Danish court ordered a Danish ISP to block access to the popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay (what only increased its traffic); Later on, access was blocked from WikiLeaks when a temporary injunction was given against the domain registrar, which was only remove following intervention from the EFF and ACLU.

And what is so problematic with the Court’s decision? first of all, it has no legal grounds (the decision itself was given like in the Wikileaks case, with the Defendant’s consent). Not the Israeli Copyright Order nor the civil torts act or the Copyright Act acknowledge an Injunction blocking Users from accessing a website in this level, as the users are not a party to the process nor is the ISP a hosting provider. The ISP is simply granting access to a website which only provides links for users to use in file sharing programs. The Users themselves chose to infringe copyright. (and until today no court decision was given claiming links to files stored elsewhere deem as liability for copyright infringement).

The real problem is the problem cause. If until now we faced chosen censorship which enables voluntary censorship (meaning that we may chose to prevent blocking), this blocking is involuntary and absolute. Copyright infringing sites are first, of course, as their plaintiffs have financial interests here.

[Unfortunately] there is no organisation claiming to block child pornography sites in the name of child protection nor is there any extreme Jewish group calling to block nazi websites. The real reason file sharing sites were first is the major financial gain from censoring it. Today it’s file sharing, tomorrow? all the internet ports of a file sharing websites.These are, unfortunately the great problems of the web
: Child pornography, gambling and copyright infringement. What do they have in common? we all know. The same people whose name would be hurt will seek injunctive relief later on, and slowly all the websites will be taken down Censorship may be obsolete, as there is no need for internet without free speech.

This is a fight for our freedom. This is my war.

(Originally published in Hebrew) (Please Digg this story)

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