• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Court error' lands porn streamers in hot water

The Local · 10 Dec 2013, 12:31

Published: 10 Dec 2013 12:31 GMT+01:00

Cologne lawyer Johannes von Rüden represents hundreds of what he says is at least 10,000 people who were sent the legal letters and 'fines' from Bavarian law firm Urmann and Colleagues (U+C).

They had been using the US site Redtube.com to watch streamed pornography - and although it is a free site, they got letters demanding they sign a promise to stop using the site, and pay a €250 fine to Swiss media agent The Archive, Die Welt newspaper reported on Tuesday.

It is thought the Cologne state court only ordered internet providers like Deutsche Telekom to hand over names and addresses of customers because it misunderstood what Redtube.com was.

Both U+C and Berlin-based lawyer Daniel Sebastien are known to have submitted information requests for IP user information at the court, where the court mistook Redtube for a file sharing site – illegal in Germany – and not a streaming site, the laws around which remain unclear.

“The unauthorized public access to copyrighted work on a so-called sharing market is an infringement of the §19 Copyright Act,” read the decision written by the court, Die Welt reported.

Story continues below…

Cologne lawyer Christian Solmecke got in touch with many of those who received the letter. He has advised them neither to pay the €250-per-clip fine nor sign the cease and desist.

“From my viewpoint, the consumers did nothing illegal,” he said on Monday.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
400 arrests outside German far-right AfD party congress
"No rights for Nazi propaganda," cried one group of demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Clashes broke out between party members and left-wing protestors.

German public sector workers dispute settled
President of the Verdi union, Frank Bsirske (2nd from left) and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (2nd from right) shake hands after the breakthrough. Photo: DPA

Threat of national disruptions lifted.

German women battle for 'no means no' in rape law
A woman carries a sign reading "no means no" at a demonstration in 2011. File photo: DPA

Germany has long lagged behind other advanced nations when it comes to laws on rape. As parliament discusses a new law, women are using increased public attention to the problem to demand real change.

Cologne mayor tells court of being stabbed in neck
Henriette Reker. Photo: DPA

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker, described in court on Friday how she was attacked during campaigning last autumn and almost lost her life.

'I am truly sorry' says 96-year old Auschwitz SS guard
The accused being brought into court in a wheelchair on Friday. Photo: DPA

A 94-year-old former SS guard on trial for complicity in 170,000 murders at Auschwitz broke his silence Friday for the first time since the war, telling victims: "I am truly sorry".

Woman dies after weeks-long hostage ordeal
Police tape off an area of the farm house. Photo: DPA

A woman has died after being held against her will since March in a farmhouse in Lower Saxony and subjected to "brutal violence".

Boys, 8, go on two-day robbery spree at toy store
Photo: DPA

Two young children in Bavaria plundered a shop for toys worth hundreds of Euros. When police found out they coolly tried to give them the runaround.

Jet-setters rejoice: roaming price caps start Saturday
EU mobile users will soon be calling from Alicante to Zagreb at lower prices. Photo: DPA

Phoning and surfing while abroad is about to get a lot cheaper in the EU as new rules limiting how much mobile operators can charge come into force on Saturday.

Merkel party calls for state to spy on mosques
Photo: DPA

Authorities should be keeping an eye on the content of sermons in Germany's mosques, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has said.

Dieselgate scandal
VW targets return to profit despite year of scandal
A car on an elevator in one of the "Auto towers" at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg HQ. Photo: DPA

Embattled German carmaker Volkswagen vowed Thursday to overcome its current crisis triggered by the engine-rigging scandal, insisting it would not allow itself to be slowed down by the affair and would return to profit this year.

Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
International
6 ways Mexico and Germany are secretly the best of friends
Munich
Drunk man falls onto tracks, 3 trains pass before anyone notices
Culture
The 7 most German things that happened at the 'German Grammys'
National
Could Germany ban diesel cars from city centres?
Travel
Eight things you never knew about the German Autobahn
Society
Police force naked driver to trek to brothel on foot
National
Bavarian town finally strips Hitler of honorary citizenship
Society
Brandenburg faces wrath of Flying Spaghetti Monster
International
German retiree 'fed to dog' by Russian wife in Mallorca
National
Ordinary Germans toast love online in face of Brussels bombings
National
Germany calls for "strength in unity" after Brussels bombings
7,887
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd