EU Court Supports Music File-Sharers In Civil Cases
Advocate General Juliane Kokott, an adviser to the European Union’s top court, has drawn a line in the sand. In her decision, Kokott stated that European ISPs and telcoms are not required to hand over information on clients believed to be running music-sharing websites in civil cases. Kokott believes that it is compatible with European Union law for European countries to exclude communication of personal data in the context of a civil action. However, a criminal action does not grant the same privacy freedoms.
The original case was brought by Promusicae, a Spanish music and audiovisual association, after telecoms provider Telefonica refused to hand over the names and addresses of its Internet clients suspected of running illegal file sharing sites. The association wanted to identify the clients, who used the file-sharing program KaZaA, so it could start taking action against them.