12 February 2010

German court discharges family accused for file sharing

The District Court of Mainz has recently dismissed phonorecord producers’ charges against a family although their

Subscriber Line Was Demonstrably Used to Access, Download and Make Music Files Available

on a file sharing platform. The Court’s ruling bears the file reference 24.9.2009 – 2050 Js 16878/07.408ECs and has been published in the German journal Multimedia und Recht (MMR). The family’s attorney, Dr Jan Peter Müßig, has prepared an abridgement that is publicly accessible on MMR’s website.

The accused faced a criminal charge for having made available a certain amount of music files whose copyright was owned by different phonorecord producing companies.  Representatives or agents of those companies managed to download some of the files and

Succeeded To Detect The IP Address

and consequently the subscriber line of the accused. The subscriber line led to a family consisting of two adults and two minors. The Court ordered the search of the family’s home and thereafter the seizure of the computers and an external hard drive that the enforcement officers retrieved. The mother in the family could be identified as the principal of the subscriber line.

Initially, the Court found that identifying the subscriber line used for file sharing purposes equated the identification of that line’s principal as perpetrator and ordered  the mother to pay a fine of 1.500 Euro. On appeal she referred to the doctrine “in dubio pro reo” as she was not the sole user of the computers and the line in suit.  She further pointed out that the prosecution could not demonstrate her presence at home while songs were made available to the public and successfully downloaded by the right owners.

Failing to determine a proper perpetrator, the Court accepted the reasoning of the accused, vacated its previous order and did eventually

Dismiss The Charge Against Them

Having done so, the German court has demonstrated that it abides by nothing, but the law.

Comments (2)

  1. 18 February 2010

    How do free movie streaming sites make green ? I would guess that it would be hard to earn profit from file sharing sites !

  2. 10 March 2010
    Katia Starrett said...

    Nonetheless envisage that downloading / filesharing, in particular Torrent, is quite a dangerous thing to do today – maybe this link can help you: TorrentPrivacy Download ?

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge