In its UPC Telekabel v Constantin Film judgment (C-314/12) of 27 March 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) clarified the rules regarding unspecified injunctions against internet service providers (ISPâ€™s) based on copyright infringement. In the case, German and Austrian rights holders applied for an injunction against an Austrian ISP in order to prevent its customers from accessing a website that was offering copyrighted movies without the rights holdersâ€™ consent.
One of the new interpretations provided by the judgment is that while granting an unspecified injunction is acceptable, it is up to the ISP to choose the proper and efficient measures to block access to an infringing website. The measures must, however, respect the fundamental rights of the internet users and shall not "unnecessarily deprive internet users of the possibility of lawfully accessing the information available.â€
When the injunction is not specified, the ISP has the right to maintain before the court that the blocking measures taken actually were adequate before a possible fine may be imposed due to insufficient measures. This could imply that the national courts might be more prone to grant specified injunctions.
Further, CJEU granted internet users the right to assert their rights before the court once the blocking measures taken by the ISP are known. In practice, this would mean that the ISPsâ€™ customers are able to question the appropriateness of the measures at least in cases of unspecified injunctions. With regard to more specified injunctions, internet users might have the right to contest the ISPâ€™s measures if the national court has not appropriately taken into account the fundamental rights of the users.
Lastly, CJEU ruled that for granting an injunction against an ISP, it is not necessary to prove that any of the ISPâ€™s customers has actually accessed the infringing material.