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YouTube not required to reveal private details of pirates rules ECJ

German court sought the ECJ's guidance on what video platforms must do to combat film piracy

The European Court of Justice has ruled YouTube does not have to reveal the private contact details of anyone who illegally uploads films to the platform.

A German court sought the ECJ’s guidance on what video platforms must do to combat film piracy in a case concerning German film distributor Constantin Film.

Constantin owned the distribution rights to Scary Movie 5 and Parker in Germany. Both films were illegally uploaded to YouTube in 2013 and 2014. The company asked YouTube and Google to provide the email addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses of the users who uploaded the content.

The company took the case to court after Google and YouTube refused to give them the details.

“When a film is unlawfully uploaded onto an online platform, such as YouTube, the rights holder may, under the directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, require the operator to provide only the postal address of the user concerned, but not his or her email, IP address or telephone number,” said the ECJ.

It added EU countries could opt for more protection for intellectual property rights holders but there must be a “fair and proportionate balance between various fundamental rights.”