Feeds

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

National beaks can decide for themselves

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?