EU court: No need to reveal IP addresses in uploading cases

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s highest court ruled Thursday that online platforms don’t have to disclose the full personal data including email addresses, telephone numbers or IP addresses of users who illegally upload movies and copyright material.

The case stems from a German film distributor’s request that YouTube provide details about users who had uploaded the films “Parker” and “Scary Movie 5″ onto the platform. YouTube and its parent company Google refused to provide their email addresses and telephone numbers, as well as the IP addresses they used.

The German Federal Court of Justice referred the case to the European Court of Justice, which said online platforms like YouTube just need to provide the user’s postal address under European rules on intellectual property rights.

“When a film is unlawfully uploaded onto an online platform, such as YouTube, the rightholder may, under the directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, require the operator to provide only the postal address of the user concerned, but not his or her email, IP address or telephone number," the ECJ said in its ruling.

The German film distributor, Constantin Film Verleih, took legal action after three YouTube users uploaded the two films in full length in 2013 and 2014. They were viewed several thousands times until blocked.

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