Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No personal data yet for Brein, the Dutch IPR police

Brein, the Dutch IPR police on behalf of print publishers, the music and movies industry, has lost and Brein has won. Brein had requested five ISPs to deliver personal data of specific clients, who had used the Kazaa music exchange program. The ISPs refused to identify the clients. As Brein can not summon the clients to stop illegal downloading of music and films, it had to go to court to force the ISPs to deliver personal data of the clients.

In his ruling the judge states that under civil law the judge can force ISPs to deliver the personal data of clients. However a request of Brein should fulfil certain conditions. In this case, Brein did conform to these conditions, the judge ruled. Brein had assigned Media Sentry to discover the shared files of clients of the five Dutch ISPs. But as the company could not assure that personal files had been respected, the company might have trespassed the Dutch privacy law. On this account the judge threw out the case.

It is clear that Brein will eventually get access to the personal data of clients. However, Brein will have to find another way of acquiring these personal data. Brein director Tim Kuik does not agree with the judge and says that his method was legal and acceptable and did not breach privacy. He will go to a higher court. Altogether the principle has been agreed upon by the court, but now the proper method will have to be formulated. This test case comes a month after that US high court ruled that ISPs have to hand over the personal data of music and movie exchangers. As such the Dutch ruling is in line the ruling of the US high court.

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