Germany’s highest court has ruled that internet service providers must disclose the name and address of illegal filesharers when requested by copyright owners.
The verdict comes from the country’s Federal Court of Justice after indie distributor Tonpool filed a case against a German ISP to release details of a filesharer who illegally distributed the song ‘Bitte Hör Nicht Auf Su Träumen’ by German singer-songwriter Zavier Nadoo.
Until this verdict, such disclosure was only applicable when assets were shared for profit or in cases of a “commercial extent.”
Now, unlawful distribution of copyright material alone is sufficient enough for copyright owners to have access to identifying information. The court stated that this is to stop copyright holders being left “virtually defenceless.”
The German IFPI branch has said of the verdict, which was made in April but only announced recently, that it “puts an end to the unacceptable impairment of the rights of artists.”