Court: ISP subscribers not liable for pirating family members

This is a court case in Germany that has drawn a lot of international attention.

Germany’s Supreme Court has just handed down a landmark ruling on the liability of Internet subscribers in copyright disputes. Overturning an earlier decision by a lower court the Federal Court of Justice said that an account holder could not be held liable for piracy carried out by an adult family member if he had no reason to believe any was being carried out.

Not clear how this ruling will impact other countries, but it is a precedent.



  • Moeskido

    Good news.

  • Sebastian Paul

    This comes about a month after a lawyer sent out cease-and-desist orders to 30,000 people in Germany, asking them to pay a fine of 250€ for watching an illegally uploaded porn stream on a famous porn streaming site.

    But: The rightholder of the video bought those rights just a week before the timeframe in which people were said to have accessed that stream and many people reported that they never found the URL of the stream in their browser history – but instead a link to retdube(DOT)net [sic] which was anonymously registered in Panama just a few days after the company bought the rights. That site redirected to the videos. AND: Using streaming video is only illegal in Germany if you know that the source itself is illegal (like watching movies online that were just released in cinemas) but the lawyer made it look like people were sharing the movie in a file sharing program when he asked a court to ask the ISP to release the adresses.