German 'streamed porn' case reviewed

Someone using a laptop
Image caption Users of the Redtube website were targeted with letters telling them to pay a fee for copyright infringement

A German court that told an ISP to hand over details of users who had allegedly been illegally streaming porn online is reviewing its decision.

The names and addresses of those identified were used by a law firm to send letters asking for a one-off fee.

The firm, Urmann, acting on behalf of Swiss copyright company Archive, targeted users it said had viewed content on porn-streaming site Redtube.

More than 10,000 people are thought to have been affected.

It was one of the first cases to target people accused of streaming rather than downloading pornography.

Now, the court in Cologne says it has examined complaints from dozens of people who received the copyright infringement warning letters, which demanded a 250 euro (£210) payment.

'Victory for users'

In a statement the court said the complaints had raised "considerable" doubts about the legal procedure.

It also said the laws on "streaming" were not clear enough.

Image caption The court will make its final decision on the "streaming" case in January

Urmann issued a strongly worded statement defending itself against claims it had issued a false affidavit to the court. The firm called on the court to withdraw the allegation.

A final decision on the case is not expected until January.

In a separate court in Hamburg, a temporary injunction has been issued against Urmann and Archive preventing them from sending warning letters to Redtube users alleging copyright infringement.

In a statement Redtube said that the allegations that its site broke copyright laws were "a thinly disguised attempt to extort money from its users".

Commenting on the injunction Alex Taylor, vice president of Redtube, said: "This ruling is a victory not just for Redtube users, but for anyone who accesses a streaming website.

"It sends a clear message that the exploitation of personal information and the violation of privacy for financial gain will not be tolerated," he said.

Redtube also stressed that it had not passed on users information to third parties.

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