The highest appeal court in Germany has decided that T-Online, one of the largest German ISPs has to delete all IP logs to guarantee the privacy of their customers. This ruling makes it impossible for anti-piracy organizations to trace an infringing IP-address back to a customer of T-Online, once their dynamic IP address has changed.
The decision (German) does not mean that T-Online is now obliged to delete all their IP-logs, the customers first need to complain. But, if they ask T-Online to delete their IP-logs, the ISP has no other choice than to comply. A lawyer from Frankfurt already sketched a sample letter to make this process easier.
The court ruling is the result of a case that was initiated by Holger Voss, a 33 year old man from MÃ¼nster. Voss was sued for making a sarcastic comment in an Internet forum back in 2002.
After the district court and the regional court, now the federal appeal court decided that T-Online has no right to store the IP-logs without a legal reason. This ruling can be considered as a huge breakthrough, and it is good to see that at least some countries still value privacy.