According to Heise Online the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt on Wednesday overturned a lower court order that the name of an internet user who operated a music server via a German provider had to be made known to a music firm. The court said:
"An internet access provider is not principally obliged to reveal the name and address of an internet user who offers downloads of music files on the internet, thus violating the copyrights or other rights of third parties".The Court maintained that a provider only supplies technical access to the internet but does not generally have any obligation to inspect the data being sent through its network. Rather, providers are only required to block access when they learn of illegal content. Providers do not, however, have to provide information about their customers since the providers have not themselves infringed any copyright or aided and abetted any infringement.
P2P - great for users, but the courts aren't sure how to handle it
Last year the Higher Regional Court of Munich handed down a similar ruling: providers do not have to reveal user data if there is reason to believe that an FTP server is being used to infringe copyright. The Appeals Court granted the request of an internet provider who wanted to appeal a ruling of the Regional Court of Munich I. However, the Regional Court of Hamburg ruled just before these events that copyright owners can demand information about the identity of a customer to whom certain dynamic IP addresses are assigned in various sessions in order to prosecute possible illegal downloads by an access provider.
The IPKat worries that inconsistencies between the procedural and evidential rules employed by courts in different countries, or (as is the case here) even within the same country, can make the law appear uncertain, arbitrary or unfair. He wonders whether the next round of IP harmonisation should focus more on issues like this rather than just in considering general norms for protection.
P2P here and here
2P or not 2P here
2B or not 2B here
NO DUTY TO DISCLOSE NAME OF P2P USER, SAYS FRANKFURT COURT Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, January 28, 2005 Rating: