Summary Box: EU court rules on website obligations

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THE RULING: A European Union court says social networking sites cannot be compelled to install general filters to prevent the illegal trading of music and other copyrighted material.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: It’s a victory for operators of social networking sites in the EU, but a setback for those who seek to protect copyrighted material from being distributed without payment or permission.

THE DETAILS: The EU Court of Justice, which is based in Luxembourg, ruled Thursday that requiring general filters that would cover all the site’s users would not sufficiently protect personal data or the freedom to receive and send information.