German court rules in favor of file sharers
The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany has ruled that the identities of file sharers must remain private and can no longer be revealed to media companies that are suing them over alleged copyright infringement. For now one, only people accused of “hard” crimes such as murder and kidnapping will have their identities revealed.
Germany is known to have some of the toughest copyright laws on the planet and some reports have indicated that over 200,000 German citizens have had their identities shared with entertainment and media companies, simply so they can be threatened with future legal action for unauthorized downloads.
Christian Solmecke, a defense lawyer, gave a more in depth look into the system before this latest ruling. “Based on the data provided by Logistep and other P2P tracking enterprises, an offense is reported. The public prosecution service is obliged to investigate because a copyright infringement is a criminal offense in Germany.” The ISP would then be forced to reveal the identity of the alleged file sharer.
The new ruling means the media companies can no longer force ISPs to reveal alleged file sharer’s identities. As was noted before, the only way to get an identity for now on will be if the file sharer is also involved in terrorism, murder, child pornography or kidnapping. I’m sure many file sharers in Germany feel a lot more safe now that this ruling has passed.