While other countries debate how to go after freetards, Germany’s ISPs are handing over user data for 300,000 accounts per month, according to an announcement by that country’s ISP association, Eco.
The organization is claiming success against piracy, saying that the number of online pirates has declined by 20 percent in Germany since 2008, in the face of the concerted campaign by the music industry, ISPs and the courts (while broadband subscriptions continue to rise).
According to the Eco press release (Google translation), a warning letter is usually enough to deter pirates, even without financial threats, according to Eco board member Oliver Süme.
In spite of the ISPs’ position, rights-holders generally accompany their letters with demands for money, giving rise to accusations that the German regime is a court-sponsored cash cow in which investigation targets will pay up rather than go to the expense of defending themselves.
Eco’s data is published not to defend customers, but ISPs: it argues that the successful push against pirates means mooted laws imposing blocks on Torrent sites’ IP addresses would be unnecessary. ®