Sabam is the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers. The organization has a past of launching flimsy lawsuits over copyright infringement allegations. Sabam has now launched a lawsuit against Belgian ISPs for providing high-speed internet access to customers.
Apparently, the ludicrous logic that Sabam has cited is that the ISPs provide high-speed internet access to a huge number of users who are then able to access copyrighted material on the internet. Sabam is so blatantly shameless as to demand 3.4 percent of the income of three top Belgian ISPs, namely Telenet, Belgacom and Voo.
The only service ISPs offer is high-speed internet service. Once users are able to access internet, the onus of responsibility lies with the users. If anyone accesses copyrighted material online without paying for it, Sabam is not right in bringing up a case against the ISPs.
According to a statement issued by Sabam, “The Internet access providers have never paid copyright levies for this activity. They hide behind their status as intermediary, without taking responsibility for the information transmitted over their networks.”
In its case, what Sabam is essentially proposing is that an internet tax must be levied on all users. This internet tax should then be used to pay for the copyrighted material that is accessed online for free. Naturally, the proposal is highly unpopular, both with the common users as well as the ISPs. It remains to be seen which way the Belgian courts would sway.
Courtesy: PC World