The European Union's (EU) senior legal adviser to the European Court of Justice, Advocate General Juliane Kokott, has stated that ISPs do not have to hand over the personal details of customers suspected of illegal P2P file sharing (music, video etc.):
European law meant that governments should resist handing over personal information unless a criminal case is being pursued.
The advice was given after a court in Spain asked for guidance before ruling on a case between Spanish music publishers' group Promusicae and internet service provider Telefónica.
The legal opinion could now be quoted by other courts throughout the 27 European nations to rule on similar cases. Promusicae had asked Telefónica to provide the names and addresses of computer users on the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing service.
The move is likely to be welcomed by ISP's, yet will do little to quell debate over whether or not providers should be held responsible for all content passing through their networks.
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