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Ruling by Dutch Judge Protects Privacy of Online File Swappers

A Dutch judge ruled on Tuesday that Internet service providers would not have to hand over names or addresses of customers who may be illegally swapping films, music and other copyright-protected files. Brein, a Dutch organization representing 52 media and entertainment companies, had acquired the IP addresses of file swappers and requested personal details behind these addresses from five large Internet service providers. The service providers refused to hand over the details, arguing that only a criminal trial court could demand them.

Dutch judge protects privacy of file swappers, Reuters, July 12, 2005.