A Dutch judge has decided today that ISP UPC has to hand over the name and address of one of its customers to the Piracy Watchdog BREIN. The customer in question is a so called “heavy” illegal filesharer.
Last week we reported that UPC said they were planning to release the names and addresses of some of the “heavy” illegal filesharers. However, UPC took back this statement, and let the judge decide.
This present ruling is quite different from previous cases in the Netherlands, where BREIN lost case after case. As Reuters reports, the judge said that privacy rules did not apply if two conditions were met:
1. Copyright holders needed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that files had been swapped illegally.
2. The person swapping the files has to be the same person as the registered customer.
It is unsure why the judge decided that these two conditions were met in this particular case, but it’s likely that his/her private ISP email address ([email protected]) identified him/her. The person in question used this email address at the Dutch BitTorrent site “dikkedonder.nl”. However, it is not proven yet that the owner of this email address was indeed the person who uploaded the copyrighted material.
So BREIN has more than just an ip-address. But still, no hard evidence.
Interestingly, the judge also said that “small scale” or “incidentally” uploading copyrighted material is not likely to be sanctioned.
The next step for BREIN is probably to sue the person in question.