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German court protects P2P ne'er-do-well

ISP not obliged to name filesharer

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ISPs are not obliged to reveal the identity of internet users who offer downloads of music files on the web, a Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt ruled this week.

The Court overturned a lower court order to reveal personal information about an ISP customer who operated an illegal music server from his home.

The Court ruled that an ISP only supplies technical access to the web and does not have to inspect data being sent through its network. Internet access providers are required to block access only when they learn of illegal content.

The ruling seems now pretty much standard in Germany. Last year, the Higher Regional Court of Munich handed down a similar verdict.

In the US and the UK, however, several ISPs have been forced to provide personal details of persistent filesharers to the recording industry. ®

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