ECJ's Advocate General says no handing traffic information in civil cases
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In her opinion on case C-275/06 (Productores de Música de España Promusicae vs. Telefónica de España SAU) the advisor to the European Court of Justice (EJC), Advocate General Juliane Kokott, considered that, according with the EU law, the ISPs are not obliged to reveal personal data in civil litigation cases.
In this case, the Spanish music Association Promusicae asked the ISP Telefonica to hand over the names and addresses of the subscribers that allegedly distributed copyrighted songs via the p2p software Kazaa. Telefonica refused, considering that it could do that only in a criminal investigation or in matters of public security and national defence. A Spanish Court of Madrid asked the ECJ for the interpretation of the EU law on this matter.
Thus the following question was brought up in case C-275/06 : "Does Community law(...)permit Member States to limit the duty of operators of electronic communications networks and services, providers of telecommunications network access and providers of data storage services to retain and make available connection and traffic information generated during the supply of an information society service to where it is required in connection with a criminal investigation or the need to protect public safety and national defence, thus excluding civil proceedings?"
The answer suggested by Advocate General Juliane Kokott was published on 18 July 2007. The conclusion was that the member states exclusion of revealing personal data from Internet traffic in the civil law cases regarding copyright infringement was compatible with the EU law.
The opinion of the Advocate General is not binding on the court. The Advocate General has the role to suggest to the Court, in complete independence, a legal solution to the cases for which they are responsible. The ECJ will decide in this case later this year.
Conclusions of the Advocate General Ms. Juliane Kokott - Case C 275/06
EU Court Backs ISPs on User Privacy (20.07.2007)