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Brazil9 January 2007

Judge lifts blocking order on YouTube

A Sao Paulo judge today issued a statement asking Internet Service Providers to stop blocking access to the entire video sharing service YouTube. The judge nonetheless said ISPs should continue to do everything possible to block the steamy video of soccer star Ronaldo’s former wife.


9.01.07

Court order blocking access to Youtube called "disproportionate"

A decision by a São Paulo court on 4 January ordering Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to the US video sharing service YouTube was condemned today as "disproportionate" by Reporters Without Borders, which called for access to YouTube to be restored in Brazil. The court issued its order in response to a petition filed by two Brazilians, who were shown in a steamy video posted on the site.

"While it is essential that judges ensure that the right to privacy is respected, blocking access to this site, which agreed to withdraw the offending video, is a radical and inappropriate measure and one that it is anyway ineffective," Reporters Without Borders said.

"We find it hard to understand how a single video, the banning of which did not seem to be a matter of urgency, was able to justify the closure of a website used by tens of thousands of Brazilians every day," the press freedom organisation added.

The court’s order has already been implemented by one of Brazil’s biggest ISPs, Brasil Telecom, which blocked the site’s domain name. Another company, Embratel Participacoes, told Reuters it was looking at ways to block access to YouTube. The Spanish company Telefonica, which also operates in Brazil, announced that it would comply with the order.

The video, which was posted on YouTube by several Internet users, showed model Daniela Cicarelli, the former wife of soccer star Ronaldo, together with her boyfriend, Renato Malzoni Filho, on a Spanish beach. They sued YouTube, demanding 89,000 euros (116,000 dollars) in damages for each day the video remained on the website.

The court ban remains in effect even though YouTube, which was recently bought by Google, has since removed the video. The video meanwhile remains accessible on many other websites to which access has not been blocked in Brazil.



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