European Union countries can refuse to disclose names of file sharers on the Internet in civil cases, the EU’s top court said on Tuesday in a blow to copyright holders trying to fight digital piracy.
The European Court of Justice ruled on a dispute between Spanish music rights holders association Promusicae and Spain’s top telecoms operator Telefonica.
Telefonica argued that, under a national law based on EU rules, it only had to disclose the name of an Internet subscriber for criminal actions, not civil ones.
Evidently file sharing, i.e., illegal copying of copyright-protect music, isn’t even a little criminal in Europe. And did I mention that nobody really likes record companies, or their obsessive death-spiral litigation campaign against (yes, illegal) file-sharing, anyway?