Should copyright holders be allowed to get the identities of Internet users behind an IP-address for private prosecutions, or should that ability be left solely with the police? That’s the key question behind a pivotal hit movie camcorder case which is set to move amid an unusual amount of secrecy to Norway’s Supreme Court.
Simonsen, a law firm which since 2006 had held a license to monitor alleged pirates and collect their IP-addresses, demanded that the ISP connected with the IP-address hand over the identity of the subscriber, something it had thus far refused to do. The request had the support of the Norwegian telecoms authorities which in this case made a special exception to the country’s Privacy Act, enabling the person’s identity to be handed to a group other than the police – if the court agreed.
On May 5th 2009, Simonsen received the decision from the court but the verdict was kept a secret from the public. Espen Tøndel said this was to prevent the possibility of evidence being spoiled. This lack of transparency caused an uproar, with thousands of Internet citizens demanding to know the verdict in this important case. Many argued that if there was evidence to be spoiled, it would’ve been spoiled by now.
Today in 2010, the verdict is still a mystery to the public, but at least one of the parties is disappointed with the court’s decision.
“I can confirm that the case is being appealed to the Supreme Court, but I can not confirm which of the parties has submitted the appeal, as that may indicate what the results were in the previous hearing,” said movie industry lawyer Rune Ljøstad.
Read more on Torrent Freak.