A Good Day for EU File Sharers

Telecoms don't have to turn over personal data of illegal download suspects: court
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 2:46 PM CST
This combination picture shows four screengrabs of popular file sharing services WinMX, iMesh, Blubster and KaZaa. The EU's highest court ruled today that telecoms were not obligated to give up the personal...   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The EU’s high court ruled today that telecommunications companies are not obligated to turn over the personal data of individuals suspected of illegally sharing copyrighted material online, the AP reports. The European Court of Justice said member nations could create laws allowing for the disclosure of file-sharers’ info in civil suits, but said such provisions would have to strike a balance between privacy and property rights.

The case had come to the EU after Spanish Telefonica, faced with a request for sharer data from a music industry group, said that the law required them to provide such data only for criminal prosecutions and matters of national security. The ruling should help standardize policy, as member nations have taken wildly different legal stances on sharing in the past year.