by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 12th 2009 9:02am
Michael Scott alerts us to the news that a court in Germany has found that accidental file sharing is not a crime. In this case, it involved a guy using file sharing software, where he didn't realize that anything he downloaded was automatically shared. For that reason, he was found not guilty of sharing the same content. Of course, as the article notes, this isn't likely to be meaningful in other lawsuits in Germany for a variety of reasons, including the lack of precedential power of court rulings, and the fact that most copyright cases in Germany are civil, rather than criminal cases (this one was criminal, because of the nature of the content). Still, in an era when "accidental infringement" has become pretty much the norm, it's nice seeing a court realize the problems of charging someone for infringing by accident.
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