The German record industry insists it is unconcerned by a recent court ruling which protects the identity of file-sharers.

The German federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe on March 19 ruled that only in "heavy" cases such as terrorism, murder and child pornography, should the identities of ISP subscribers be disclosed to authorities.

Dieter Gorny, chairman of the association of the music industry, says the ruling "does not have any influence on our fighting of Internet piracy."

The German development follows a similar, controversial new ruling in Italy which means local companies may not spy on individuals who engage in illegal file-sharing.

The German association is calling for greater powers to pursue any kind of Internet piracy, and would support the kind of government pressure on ISPs which has had support in France and the United Kingdom.