YouTube does not have to give out IP addresses for illegal uploads

© rcfotostock –

The European Court of Justice ruled that YouTube and Co. do not have to provide e-mail, telephone number or IP address in the event of an illegal upload.

According to a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), online platforms such as YouTube do not have to provide the email addresses or telephone numbers of users who illegally uploaded films there. The concept of address in EU law only refers to the postal address, the Luxembourg judges ruled on Thursday (Case C-264/19).

The background is a lawsuit brought by Constantin Film Verleih against Google’s video platform Youtube. There, users illegally uploaded the films “Parker” and “Scary Movie 5”, to which Constantin Film has the rights of use for Germany. Constantin Film therefore demanded that YouTube and Google give out the email addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses of the users.

Since Google and YouTube refused, Constantin Film sued through several courts before the Federal Court of Justice. The latter finally wanted to know from the CJEU whether the term addresses as used in the relevant EU directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights also includes the email addresses, IP addresses and telephone numbers of the users.

The Luxembourg judges have now decided that courts in EU countries are not obliged to order the disclosure of this information. However, they have the option of what was said further.

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