The Civil Court in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on July 12 refused a claim from Dutch anti-piracy organization Brein that five local Internet service providers deliver the names and addresses of 41 file-
Amsterdam -- The Civil Court in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on July 12 refused a claim from Dutch anti-piracy organization Brein that five local Internet service providers deliver the names and addresses of 41 file-sharers.
Under Dutch law, the industry needs the cooperation of ISPs to identify alleged copyright infringers. Earlier this year, Brein sent cease-and-desist letters with damages claims to the ISPs for delivery to their customers suspected of engaging in illegal file sharing.
The civil judge M. van Delft-Baas refused to order the release of the client data because the information used by Brein had been collected by a U.S. company, Mediasentry. This method of collection of personal data is against Dutch law.
A legal representative for the five ISPs welcomed the ruling as "an important victory for the privacy of Internet users."
Brein director Tim Kuik refuted the decision. "The law says we can't send personal data to the States. We don't do that, we only receive data which we process according to the Dutch law," Kuik says.
The court did however dismiss a claim from the ISPs that only a criminal judge should order the release of such client data. The judge decided that a civil court could make such a demand, but only in well-defined circumstances.
Brein is planning an appeal and says it will continue to collect data on illegal file-sharers.