Swisscom cannot be forced to block illegal movie websites: court

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the swiss Swisscom telecommunications is seen at an office in Zurich, Switzerland on 22 November 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – the Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom cannot be forced to block access to foreign websites that illegally movies available, the highest Swiss court said on Wednesday, ending a three-year-old copyright case brought by a local film company.

The Swiss Supreme court rejected the complaint of the company, Zurich-based Praesens-Film, which is the owner of the Swiss rights for countless films and had asked Swisscom to deploy technology to block downloads or streaming access.

The decision, which affirms a lower court ruling to the conclusion that Swisscom would be forced to block the sites in question, it would be a participant in the copyright infringement.

“The activities of Swisscom are limited to the offer of access to the global internet. The films are not offered by Swisscom, I’d rather not through a third party, based on unknown locations abroad,” the court wrote. “These parties are not customers of Swisscom, nor do they have any other relationship to the telecom company.”

Swiss legal observers had judged it of importance, since it provides an other internet providers, of which Swisscom is the nation’s largest, with guidance on their legal obligations in the cases where the websites offer the films in breach of copyright.

Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill

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