German Government – Data Retention is for Terrorists, Not Copyright Infringers

Last year, ZeroPaid reported on the German music industry saying it would sue 1000 file-sharers every month in the year of 2007.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

This crackdown on copyright infringement was an attempt to deter file-sharers, making it seem as though one couldn’t get away with it in Germany. A new report on Heise Online seems to show a significant setback on the file-sharing crackdown – namely the new resistance to using data retention laws in civil matters.

The Justice Minister of Germany Zypries said in an interview for Focus Magazine, “Connection information can assist in the prosecution of terrorists and organized criminals but cannot be used to help the music industry pursue its rights under civil law” Ouch. Not good news for the IFPI when they were jumping for joy earlier over the new laws. A Google translation of an earlier report showed a chairman of the German arm of the IFPI saying that it would be contradictory for the government to not hand over all the information over to them for copyright legal pursuits.

The data retention laws would have all internet service providers retain all the information that goes through their networks for six months starting on January of this year. It’s little wonder why the record labels would want to have access to that information.

It may not be too far fetched to believe that the German record labels will simply give up after being told ‘no’, but for now, it looks as though the record labels will have to go back to their old tactics which is probably similar to some of the questionable information gathering techniques employed by their US counterparts.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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