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German Court Says, Parents Are Not Responsible For Music Piracy By Minors

Anti-piracy laws are stringent in many countries. But, all of these laws have a common shortcoming – these can’t be applied on minors. What to do in such cases? The German authorities had tried to push the parents to damages in such a case. But, Germany’s highest court ruled that the parents can’t be held responsible for their child’s music piracy.

In January 2007, the anti-piracy team of German content publishers noticed that a total of 1,147 copyrighted audio tracks had been shared on various file-sharing networks from a single German IP address. It was suspected that a German couple had shared those copyrighted audio tracks using two pieces of file-sharing software – Bearshare and Morpheus. But after investigating deeper, it was found that the misfit in this case is actually their 13-year old son. So, the authorities blamed the parents for this vile crime and asked them to pay damages to the rights holders. But the couple refused to pay and the case ended up in German court.

A German district court ordered the couple to pay 3,000 euros for 15 tracks (200 euros per track) as damages and 2,380 euros for other issues; that is, the couple were ordered to pay the grand total to 5,380 euros damages. But the couple denied to comply and appealed to Germany’s Federal Court. The parents pleaded in the Federal Court that they had done very little parental supervision to their child, and thus shouldn’t be held responsible for the unlawful act. After hearing everything, the Federal Court ruled that the parents of the alleged teenager who had made available 1,147 songs on file-sharing networks can not be held responsible for their son’s infringements, nor be required to install special software to monitor or hinder his online activities, and dismissed the case. The ruling came on November 15, 2012, 5 years after the original case began.

Now it’s time to see how this ruling affects demands for cash settlements from copyright holders. And it is also a matter of interest on what people think about the decision. Share your comments.

Source : Torrentfreak

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