Norwegian Supreme Court Explores Whether Private Companies Should Get Access To IP Info

from the legal-questions dept

TorrentFreak alerts us to an interesting case happening in Norway right now. Apparently, the most expensive movie ever produced in Norway was (shocking, I know) found on the internet soon after it was released. The filmmakers got very, very upset about this and "launched an investigation." After figuring out what they believed to be the IP address of the first uploader, they went to the police, who basically said they weren't interested in getting involved. So instead, the fillmmakers filed a civil suit and attempted to get the name of the account associated with the IP address at the time of the first upload. But, at least in Norway, it's something of an open legal question as to whether or not a private company/individual can get such info, as it has the potential to violate data privacy rules.

Oddly, the court made its decision last May, but kept the verdict secret from the public. I guess I'm not that familiar with Norwegian law, but I find it odd that a verdict can be kept secret. Either way, whichever party lost (and no one knows who) appealed, and the Norwegian Supreme Court is apparently looking over the case.


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  1.  
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    Brian (profile), Feb 8th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Appeals

    They usually seem to happen when the movie studios lose the case since I assume there would have been news of a new case being brought against the person if the information was revealed. Plus we never heard any gloating from the studios about how they "crushed" piracy or something like that which usually follows a win for them.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 12:04am

    There is talk over here in Norway about whether or not the film's producers leaked the film themselves onto the internet as a PR stunt of some sort. I doubt that personally, but there is no denying that because of this lawsuit the film got a LOT of free PR because of all the media attention it got over it. While the producers claim that they are doing it to make an example in order to deter further illegal sharing of other Norwegian movies I think that they mostly just did it just to get the media coverage and consequent free advertisement.

    If I recall correctly, this is one (if not THE one) highest grossing Norwegian movie made, so just how much "damage" the leaked version has done is questionable.

     

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  3.  
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    Tor (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 12:16am

    Secret verdict

    It's indeed very strange to have a system with secret verdicts. Here in Sweden rights holders may use our implementation of the IPRED directive to request this type of information if they can get a court to approve to their request, but in that case, although the ISP is not allowed to notify the subscriber until after a certain period of time the court decision itself is completely open.

     

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  4.  
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    Kristian Bysheim, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 1:45am

    Appeals

    According to NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), via Dagens Näringsliv (business paper), both parties appealed the ruling: http://nrk.no/nyheter/kultur/1.6977648 (In English: http://bit.ly/diQxwt)

     

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  5.  
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    Haywood (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 3:11am

    Where do you appeal a Supreme court ruling?

    Their legal system must be a lot different than ours, here you would have to go to the intergalactic court.

     

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  6.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Actually, I can't help but think that this ruling would be bad for the ISPs in that country.

    If there is no manner to know who is on an individual IP (even after a court case), the copyright holders would have no alternative but to go after the owner of record of the IP block. That would be the only valid (and publically revealed) owner they could contact. If the ISPs are barred from giving out user information, they could end up on the hook.

    I would say that neither party in this would like the ruling.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    No alternative? How about not going after anyone? Seems like a good alternative to me.

    Potential plaintiff: Hmmm...there were no witnesses who saw the car run over my dear grandmother...what to do? what to do? Guess I'll sue all auto manufacturers or how about suing the city, must be their fault as they own the streets...while I'm at it, I'll sue all of the residents of the city it happened in...after all, they own the street where it happened too...they're all to blame for this for sure.

    After all, we should really be thinking about the children.

     

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  8.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Re: Nonsense

    > the copyright holders would have no alternative but to go after
    > the owner of record of the IP block

    You apparently live in some fantasy world where it's assumed that an aggrieved copyright owner has to be able to sue *somebody* and if they can't find the person who actually aggrieved them, they can just start attaching liability to whomever they please.

    In reality, sometimes shit just happens and there's no recourse.

    For example, last night's episode of "The Big Bang Theory" included a vanity card from the producer after the end credits bemoaning the fact that there's a direct rip-off of their show airing in Belarus called "The Theorists" containing the same characters with the same names, and the episodes are almost line-by-line transcriptions of the American show. The producer, Chuck Lorre, was frustrated when Warner legal told him nothing could be done because the TV network in Belarus is owned by the government and the government won't allow itself to be sued.

    In reality, that's the end of it. Lorre and Warners just have to live with the fact that they're being ripped off. Shit happens. But according to your view of the world, since the rights-holder can't sue the *actual* infringer, they should be able to just find the next best person available. Maybe in this case, they'd be justified in opening up the Minsk phone directory and suing random Belarussians for the actions of their government?

     

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  9.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    It's a nice try, but a fail.

    You saw a car run over granny, it had "ISP" logos on it, and it drove in and parked in the ISP building, and the person went into the ISP building.

    Should we just ignore all that?

    The rest of your post is just a rant, a bizarre absolute attempt to get away from reality, I think.

     

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  10.  
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    Luci, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, because infringement is just as bad as vehicular manslaughter! sorry, but your analogy, and related misguided rant, is a fail.

    The reality is that you are ignoring that the COURTS could still get this information. Just not the accusing corporation (the music industry, since you're a little slow, today). You are making assumptions not in evidence, little troll.

     

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  11.  
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    devious0ne, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 5:20am

    Re: Anti-Mike

    Actually your wrong there Anti-Mike, Norway does not care about piracy. Coming from the US and working for one of the biggest ISP in Norway I get 100's of emails from CBS, NBC, ABC, Paramount, etc. etc. With a list of IP address's as well as the movies or shows that where downloaded.
    You want to know where it goes to the SPAM box, because there is no law against file sharing. Go Norway!

     

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  12.  
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    devious0ne, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 5:20am

    Re: Anti-Mike

    Actually your wrong there Anti-Mike, Norway does not care about piracy. Coming from the US and working for one of the biggest ISP in Norway I get 100's of emails from CBS, NBC, ABC, Paramount, etc. etc. With a list of IP address's as well as the movies or shows that where downloaded.
    You want to know where it goes to the SPAM box, because there is no law against file sharing. Go Norway!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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