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ISPs Can’t Be Forced To Share Logged Traffic, German Court Rules


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ISPs Can’t Be Forced To Share Logged Traffic, German Court Rules

Flag_of_Germany.svg_-150x150.pngInternet provider usually keep logs of their customers’ traffic, for reasons of their own, but could this information be used by rights holders in court? To the disappointment of those who are looking for an easy buck (read copyright trolls), the answer is no.

While the US legal system is still used and abused by copyright trolls, a German court ruled against these techniques.

“Since 2008 the rights-owners have had the right to request the name and address of a connection holder connected to a certain IP-Address at a certain time, in case there was a copyright infringement committed from this connection,” Otto Freiherr Grote told TF.

Although most internet providers keep logs of the outgoing and incoming traffic, others don’t. When it comes to copyright infringement, rights holders could ask the ISP to hand over the personal details of a subscriber’s account (IP address, e-mail, home address), at least in the U.S.

“Some access providers (Vodafone for example) don’t provide this information in Germany. They often argue that they don’t save dynamic IP-addresses at all,” the German lawyer added.

“It’s as good as impossible for the rights-owners to sue any file-sharing clients of these providers,” Grote continued.

To deal with this “problem”, a movie company, alongside with an anti-piracy company and a producer of adult-oriented movies took Vodafone into court, trying to obtain a ruling in their favor.

And they initially did, with a regional court in Düsseldorf deciding that Vodafone must keep logs of their users’ traffic; however, once the ISP asked for an appeal, the decision was overruled.

Note: The initial ruling said that internet providers must provide right holders with the kept logs, but only if internet providers stored these logs in the first place.

“The Higher regional Court has now annulled these decisions,” Grote explained.

“The Court constitutes that there is no obligation to save the data.”

Are German ISPs going to reconsider their data storage policies after this decision? That’s to be seen in the future.

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