Blablo101 / iStockphoto.com
Two telecoms companies emerged victorious earlier this week when Denmark’s Eastern High Court (Østre Landsret) ruled that the companies don’t have to hand over the details of alleged pirates.
On Monday, May 7, the court held that Telenor and Telia Danmark are not required to hand over the names and addresses of the subscribers behind 4,000 IP addresses who had allegedly pirated films.
Copyright Management Services (CMS), which represents copyright owners, had requested the details of the alleged pirates.
Representing CMS before the High Court was Njord Law Firm. In previous cases involving CMS, Njord had acquired names and addresses of alleged pirates and sent letters to the subscribers.
The court said that it had weighed the subscribers’ interests for confidentiality of information against the interests of the right owners in obtaining the information to prosecute.
This decision overturned the verdict of a lower court which had reached the opposite conclusion in October last year.
Morten Bentzen, CEO of Telia, said: “We are happy with the verdict. Viewed from a data protection perspective, it is an important victory for Telia’s customers.”
A spokesperson for Telenor said: “The recent ruling established that we cannot be required, by default, to deliver personal data about our customers in Denmark to private parties who are driven by their commercial interests.”
The spokesperson added that Telenor viewed the ruling as an “important victory” for the company’s right to protect its customers’ data.
Jeppe Clausen, partner at Njord Law Firm, said that the court had weighed the basic human right of privacy against the right of copyright and found that the former outweighed the latter.
“This decision is bad news for copyright owners. If you are unable to identify subscribers, you have a missing link—it halts the investigation and the possibility of enforcing your rights,” he added.
CMS may appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court of Denmark.
Denmark’s High Court, Østre Landsret, piracy, pirates, subscribers, telecoms, Telenor, Telia Danmark, Njord Law Firm, Copyright Management Services