Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
1. The Commission plans to adopt in the first semester of 2012 a proposal on collective rights management that will aim, among other objectives, to facilitate the licensing of copyright for online music services. This enabling legal framework should help stimulating the legal offer of online music services across the EU.
2. The Commission does not have any competence to carry out controls on websites which allow illicit music downloads. In the Member States, injunctions to stop or prevent infringements can be imposed by courts. However, general filtering of electronic communications would raise problems of compatibility with EC law. The European Court of Justice found recently that a requirement imposed on an Internet service provider or on a hosting service provider to install a system for filtering electronic communications passing via its services or information stored on its servers, which applies indiscriminately to all consumers or users, as a preventive measure, exclusively at the expense of the service providers and for an unlimited period was contrary to EC law(1).
3. The Commission is currently carrying out a review of Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. In doing so, it will pay particular attention to striking the right balance between the protection of intellectual property rights, the freedom to conduct business, the protection of personal data and that of the freedom of information.