Feeds

EU supremes: ISPs don't always have to finger filesharers

National beaks can decide for themselves

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The European supreme court has ruled that lower authorities are not compelled to order disclosure of file-sharers' identities by ISPs in civil lawsuits. The decision will hamper the efforts of rights-holder bodies to clamp down on digital copying through the courts.

The decision was handed down today in a dispute between Promusicae, the Spanish music-rights association, and Iberian heavyweight telco Telefonica. The ISP contended that it did not have to disclose its customers' identities in civil - rather than criminal - proceedings. Promusicae had sought the names of Telefonica users who had illegally downloaded music on KaZaA, so as to launch civil suits against them.

"Community law does not require the member states, in order to ensure the effective protection of copyright, to lay down an obligation to disclose personal data in the context of civil proceedings," according to the court ruling as reported by Reuters.

Music industry and other likeminded copyright groups would much prefer to mount civil actions, as they are cheaper and have a lower burden of proof than criminal ones. But if ISPs don't have to disclose their customers' names based on IP logs, this becomes very difficult.

That said, national judiciaries are free to establish local rules in favour of civil disclosure if they want to: the EU court has merely said that this isn't compulsory under European law.

"The directives on the protection of personal data also allow the member states to provide for exceptions to the obligation to guarantee the confidentiality of traffic data," the court stated, leaving the door open for other countries to let rights-holder bodies go the easier civil route. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.