German Court Deems Anonymous File-Sharing As Illegal

Anonymous file-sharing, in which data passes through trusted friends in a network, has gained traction in recent months. However, a German court has now ruled that if a person exists on such a network and let data pass through his/her machine to other users, he/she will be held accountable for it.

Naturally, the German court’s decision is absurd at the mildest, and highly biased and controversial. The courts seem eager to side with the anti-piracy agencies even when these agencies may end up nabbing innocent users.

In this case, the person accused was making use of the popular file-sharing network, RetroShare. This network allows a group of users to create a mutual network which is secure and private and then share encrypted files over this network.

However, the user in question made the mistake of adding an anti-piracy company as a contact on this network. The company was able to detect when the user shared a piece of encrypted data which turned out to be a copyrighted music file. Naturally, the user wasn’t aware of what the file contained and the person who actually sent the file couldn’t be tracked.

So rather than trying to locate the origin of the file, the court simply dumped the blame on the person who was found to be merely passing the data, and has ruled that he must not share any more songs or else he may be sentenced to six months in prison.

Such decisions by the court in Germany is setting a dangerous precedent which may fast inch towards a clear violation of basic rights of the citizens as well as the basic tenets of justice.

Courtesy: Torrent Freak

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