LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - 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 criminal, action.
The court follows the advice of advocates general on most occasions.