• Germany edition
 
Porn pirates set to be outed by lawyers
Photo: DPA

Porn pirates set to be outed by lawyers

Published: 21 Aug 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Aug 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00

Using the driest possible legalese, the Urmann and Colleagues (U+C) firm announced on its website on Tuesday that from September 1, visitors to their site would find a list of people who had been involved in disputes over illegal porn internet downloads.

The firm, based in the southern German town of Regensburg, is one of the country's biggest copyright law firms and represents a number of pornographers.

The new statement suggests it is poised to go after people who pirate pornography, by sending out thousands of cease-and-desist notices and compensation demands.

"As legal representative of its clients, the firm U+C warns owners of internet connections who have violated copyright," the firm said in a statement to Der Spiegel magazine. "These clients include companies from the pornography industry who believe their copyright has been violated."

Specifically, this means file-sharing, or as U+C puts it, "the unauthorized downloading of copyright-protected works combined with the simultaneous offering of that work by opening one's hard drive to other internet users."

In 2007 the German Constitutional Court ruled that it was legal for law firms to publish the names of potential opponents to advertise their services - though in the case the court considered this was meant for companies rather than private individuals.

But other legal experts have questioned whether publishing personal details of suspected file-sharers would be legal.

The weekly Wochenblatt newspaper said U+C had the names of 150,000 people on its files who have been sent warnings for breach of copyright. But the paper also says that "touchy cases" will be published first. The paper says that church rectories, police stations, and the embassies of Arab countries protected by diplomatic immunity could be on the list.

The U+C has refused to talk about which or how many internet users it intends to “out”.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:02 August 21, 2012 by Snapply
I don't know why germans like to believe that they respect information privacy when we constantly see things like this happen. Internet freedom and anonymity is on par with China sometimes :s
17:03 August 21, 2012 by Englishted
I agree snappy German is the most backward and interfering country in Europe as far as internet freedom is concerned ,the reason is because the law is being dictated by very greedy lawyers as above.

I just am waiting for somebody to illegally download a German song while sitting in a Mac Donalds because under German law it would be their fault for not protecting their internet connection .

Did anyone else see the magic word "suspected" because at the moment you are guilty until you can 100% prove you are innocent .

But please if something has changed and I'm not up to speed do tell I will not be offended.
19:50 August 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
From the country that gave us the SS and Stasi this is to be expected. Don't take any notice of Germany's privacy laws. They are but an illusion. The only reason the German government wanted to ban Google Streetview is because they didn't think of it first.
07:51 August 22, 2012 by wood artist
As the owner of some copyrighted material, I can appreciate the issues presented here. However, I do find the rules in Germany a bit erratic.

For example, I uploaded a video to Youtube. It consists of music that I composed, played back through my own midi connection, with video that consists of the words to the aria. The title includes all that information. GEMA blocked it in Germany, saying it possibly (likely) infringed on a copyright. When I challenged them to explain who, other than me, could possibly hold a copyright on music that I wrote, they said they didn't really know. I guess I should be happy they bothered to respond, but they've never lifted the restriction. Oddly, it's the one aria in the whole opera that has words in English. Go figure.

wa
09:54 August 22, 2012 by Legal E
And I suspect, they (Lawfirm or clients) would actively place torrents with tracking scripts on the net to entrap downloaders. Then, they would put out an aggressive cease and desist letter. I have seen this myself, with a script that logs your PC data and sends all information back which would breach the wire tap laws (as they will have no wire tap warrant).

Simple method is to install an IP blocker and also surf behind a proxy. But the business case is to go after the people who do not install these security breaches. Also it is a civil case, I would find it difficult if they go after them in court, and the data they obtained on your pc without a warrant would be inadmissible.
09:56 August 22, 2012 by Snapply
With GEMA you have to prove them wrong, which is a completely backwards idea of justice and law.
Today's headlines
German jobless rate rises in July
Photo: DPA

German jobless rate rises in July

Unemployment in Germany rose in July to 6.6 percent, the Federal Employment Agency said on Thursday, blaming the increase on "seasonal reasons". READ  

Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
The winning numbers in Wednesday night's lotto. Photo: DPA/Lotto

Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

Three lucky Germans will take home a six-figure prize after an extremely rare lottery draw. The lucky numbers on Wednesday night were 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 37. READ  

Germany denies 'land for gas' deal with Putin
Merkel with Poroshenko and Putin in June. Photo: DPA

Germany denies 'land for gas' deal with Putin

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been working on a secret peace plan for Ukraine, The Independent newspaper reported on Thursday. The report was later denied by the German government. READ  

Space ship brings special cargo for astronaut
A cargo compartment on the ATV. Photo: ESA

Space ship brings special cargo for astronaut

The last European space freighter blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, carrying a special treat for the station’s German astronaut. The launch of the German-built supply ship marks the end of an era. READ  

World Cup victory makes Germans thirsty
Beer sales abroad and during the World Cup were behind the rise. Photo: DPA

World Cup victory makes Germans thirsty

Germany’s World Cup victory was also good news for the country’s brewers who saw a welcome reversal in the long-term trend of draining beer sales. READ  

Foreigners less likely to get jobs than Germans
A woman walks past a German job centre in Saxony. Photo: DPA

Foreigners less likely to get jobs than Germans

Foreigners from outside the EU suffer from a much lower employment rate in Germany than native citizens and EU immigrants, a study confirmed on Wednesday. READ  

German squad leaves out one-legged long jumper
Markus Rehm. Photo: DPA

German squad leaves out one-legged long jumper

German athletics officials said on Wednesday they would not nominate the country's long jump champion Markus Rehm for the European championships because of fears his prosthetic leg gives him an unfair advantage. READ  

Second man arrested after synagogue attack
The synagogue on Tuesday after the attack. Photo: DPA

Second man arrested after synagogue attack

Police arrested a second suspect on Wednesday in connection with an attempted arson attack in which Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in western Germany. Another man who said he was Palestinian has denied involvement. READ  

German women fall short of equality
Still a man's world: women in Germany find it hard to rise as high as Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: DPA

German women fall short of equality

Women in Germany are still underrepresented in leadership jobs and among professors, a new government report said on Wednesday. They are also paid less and remain unlikely to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics. READ  

The Local List
Five reasons to visit (and to avoid) Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Five reasons to visit (and to avoid) Oktoberfest

With just over 50 days to go until Munich's Oktoberfest starts, it is time to book your train/plane/horse to the world’s biggest beer festival. Or is it? The Local List looks at five reasons you should be making that trip, and five why you'd better steer clear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,244
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd