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Dutch file-swapper case collapses

Lack of evidence from anti-piracy unit

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The Dutch Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands (BREIN) has lost its case against five Dutch ISPs who refused to hand over the names of 42 suspected song swappers. BREIN knew these individuals only by their IP address.

The court ruled that BREIN made a crucial mistake in collecting evidence against the individuals. BREIN hired US company Media Sentry, which monitors popular online forums and P2P services for copyright infringement and tracks unauthorised online distribution. Apparently the company only looked at shared folders of Kazaa, but these folders may also have contained files for personal use, the court argues. There is not enough proof that these particular files were uploaded.

The ruling isn't a full victory for the Dutch ISPs. The court argued that ISPs can be forced by law to hand over personal data. However, in order to do so BREIN would have to start all over again. ®

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