While it may be a long time before we see this type of thing happen in the US and Canada the people of Denmark can look forward to one less anti-piracy agency trying to sue everyone in sight for downloading music from the internet – legal or otherwise.
It appears according to a report over at TorrentFreak that the Danish anti-piracy group Antipiratgruppen has given up on trying to get illegal downloaders convicted as well as announcing the group will no longer take people to court.
Part of the reasoning behind the decision is as the Antipiratgruppen lawyer, Mary Fredenslund, is that the evidence required has to be strong and concrete in order to have people convicted and the organization apparently couldn’t convince the courts the lift the burden of proof in cases like these.
Defense attorney Per Overbeck says that in addition to these outcomes, cases against two of his clients have been dropped in recent years. “Antipiratgruppen has acknowledged that they can not get people convicted without either catching them in the act or threatening them to confess,” Overbeck said. “In practice, this means that without a confession there is no case,” he added.
Per Overbeck and Antipiratgruppen’s assessment that recent High Court rulings make it virtually impossible to get individuals convicted for illegal file sharing are supported by a recent Government report from the Ministry of Culture.
According to the report, IP-addresses can only be used to identify the person paying for the Internet subscription, not the person who actually downloaded the files. The courts have ruled several times that in terms of evidence, an IP-address alone is insufficient to prove guilt.
It’s too bad we couldn’t see the same common sense be applied here in North America but with so many politicians being supported by entertainment industry trade groups common sense seems to be in short supply. When it comes to the courts they can only really go by the guidance of the laws as they exist – laws crafted by lobbyists and condoned by politicians.