German Court Denies Label-Driven, ISP Subpoenas

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A local court in Germany has recently blocked labels from seeking the identities of suspecting file-traders, the latest setback for majors in the region.

According to a report from German publication Heise Online, the Offenberg-based court denied the pursuit of user identities using criminal proceedings, and qualified the user actions as “petty offenses”.   Furthermore, the court noted that the offenses offered little damage to public welfare.

The development is not isolated, and follows similar rulings throughout the region over the past few years.  German labels have scored some court victories, and continue to chase suspected infringers, but courts have mostly been unfriendly to the moves.  Meanwhile, the German recording industry has been suffering a precipitous downturn for years, thanks to heavy and continued levels of file-sharing.