German Federal Court Rules ISPs Must Give File Sharer Info To Rights Holders

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Germany has become the latest country to come to a decision on implementing strict anti-piracy regulations in favor of the owners of copyrighted material.  The Federal Court of Justice in Germany is requiring ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to hand over names and addresses of individuals using file sharing services to steal content over to the original rights holders.  This act of pirating isn’t new, but it has taken a lot of time and many attempts to get courts around the world to make rulings on a more generic basis.  In the past the rights holders had to take action themselves without much help from the ISPs.

The recent ruling in Germany hasn’t been a quick process.  There has been a long-running legal case between Naidoo Records (German singer Xavier Naidoo’s record label) and Deutsche Telekom.  Surprisingly, before reaching the Federal Court, the regional and regional appeals court of Cologne ruled mostly in favor of Deutsche Telekom by restricting any hand over of personal information to cases of commercial scale piracy instead of individual file sharers.

Copyright holders in Germany still have some work to do though if they plan to ask ISPs for user info.  In order for them to obtain the names and addresses of potential violators, there has to be solid proof and cannot be based solely on speculation of an offense.  How they can prove it will surely be ground for more resistance from ISPs, but German internet users should still think twice before attempting to downloading illegal content online.


Source: The Verge
Photo by fdecomite via flickr 

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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