LUXEMBOURG Telecoms companies in Europe are not
required to hand over information on clients believed to be
running music-sharing websites in civil cases, an adviser to
the European Union's top court said on Wednesday.
The case was brought by a Spanish music and audiovisual
association after telecoms provider Telefonica refused to hand
over the names and addresses of its Internet clients suspected
of running illegal file sharing sites.
The association, Promusicae, wanted to identify the
clients, who used the file-sharing programme KaZaA, so it could
start taking action against them.
But advocate general Juliane Kokott, whose role is to
advise the judges, said on Wednesday that it is compatible with
EU law for European countries to exclude communication of
personal data in the context of a civil, as distinct from
The court follows the advice of advocates general on most