Disclosure of file-sharers' details

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29 January 2008

The ECJ has held that EC law does not require member states to oblige internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose details of suspected file-sharers so that copyright owners can bring civil proceedings. However, EC law requires that, when transposing the E-Privacy Directive, which requires protection of personal data but permits exemptions to protect the rights of others, member-states must interpret them to allow a fair balance between the fundamental EC rights. 

The decision means that copyright owners cannot always invoke EC law to require ISPs to disclose information for civil enforcement proceedings. However national courts may deem such disclosure to be required in certain cases.

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