UPC do not have to hand over name, address illegal porn downloaders

Jan

31

2015

UPC need the name and address details of downloaders of movies not to hand over to a German company, the downloaders had wanted to sue for damages. There was lack of clarity about whether the company was possibly the copyright holder.

Trial court The company Belirex, wild illegal downloaders of movies are approaching and demand compensation. Because the company only have the IP addresses of downloaders, which are clear openly through BitTorrent, it demanded that cable operator UPC would hand over the names and addresses of downloaders with a UPC subscription.

That does not, it appears from a judgment of the Court of Amsterdam, which was published by IE-Forum. It is striking that privacy has played no role. According to the court illegal downloaders can be expected that their IP addresses are transferred. “Such a result is entirely at the risk of the person who undertakes such illegal activity,” said the court. The downloading of copyrighted material without permission is indeed banned since April last year.

The claim was rejected Belirex instead because it was not clear that the company really was the owner of the copyright in the relevant pornographic images. It was also unclear whether the IP addresses that were actually handed belonging to illegal downloaders: the judge indicates that he does not pass judgment on that, because there is no independent expert was present in the courtroom. UPC argued namely that its IP addresses are dynamic, and that an IP address used illegally downloaded movies can later be used by someone else.

Although the requirement of Belirex is rejected, the judgment indicates that it is illegal downloaders do not necessarily go unpunished. If Belirex fact could prove that the IP addresses were indeed illegal downloaders and there is no ambiguity as to the copyright owner, the claim of the company had or may be assigned, and the illegal downloaders could expect a legal claim.

The download ban in the Netherlands applies since April last year. The European Court of Justice ruled that the downloading of material from illegal sources can not be subsumed under the private copying. Stichting Brein has announced that it plans to go after file sharers, but individual copyright owners can decide otherwise.

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