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European File-Sharers May Find Identities Safe
July 18, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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European file-sharers - or at least those residing in the European Union - are on the cusp of a major victory against the powers that be. Advocate General Juliane Kokott has submitted her option to the European Court of Justice that Spanish copyright traffic cop Promusicae is not entitled to the identities of alleged P2P pirates.

Promisicae has been pursing alleged uploaders using the Kazaa P2P platform, meanwhile attempting to force the Spanish ISP Telefonica to divulge their identities. Telephonica refused to divulge their personal information, and now it appears their resistance has paid off.

Advocate General Juliane Kokott's recommendation to the European Court of Justice is non-binding, however it carries substantial weight. In fact, an overwhelming majority of decisions made by the European Court follow the recommendations of the Advocate General. In this case, Juliane Kokott advised that because this was a civil matter, and not criminal, it would be consistent with European law that Promusicae could not obtain the identities of the alleged infringers.

If the European Court of Justice follows Kokott's recommendation, it could have European Union-wide implications for copyright authorities. Organizations such as Promusicae could find their ability to pursue alleged file-sharers severely hampered, considering that a majority of these cases fall under civil jurisdiction.

Editor's note: After reading, it should be pointed out that there's additional information that I left out of this article. That important piece of information is that criminal prosecution of file-sharers is much more significant in Europe than in the United States. also points out that Germany has already initiated 20,000 criminal cases against alleged file-sharers. If criminal complaints become their only tool however, the sudden burden of thousands of criminal prosecutions may prove cumbersome.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: International

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