No net blocks for german copyright infringers

"Blocking internet access is not an option for the federal government," said the parliamentary secretary of state in the ministry of economics, hans-joachim otto (FDP), at the midem music fair in cannes. For the first half of 2012, he announced a legislative proposal on warning notices for copyright infringers on the internet.

The decision would be based, among other things, on a study by the university of applied sciences in poland, which had examined various warning notice models in other countries. It is to be presented this week, "probably tuesday or wednesday". At the next business dialog on combating internet piracy in mid march, the results of the investigation are to be discussed with the parties involved – these are rights holders such as music publishers and record companies as well as internet providers.

"I assume that we will arrive at a kind of step-by-step model that is also acceptable from the point of view of data protection," otto told dpa. For example, an ISP might not have to reveal the name of the user at the first copyright infringement, but could warn the user more or less anonymously.

It is conceivable that an internet user would receive a series of warnings if he or she violates copyright law, for example, by sharing music illegally via file-sharing. Depending on how sharply such a law is formulated, he was then sanctioned for the umpteenth death – this could be a fine or – as in france – a blocking of internet access.

In france, the so-called hadopi method – hadopi after the relevant authority – has caused quite a stir since its introduction in 2009 and, according to the french rights exploiters, has also brought success in the fight against online music piracy. But to date, according to industry sources, the maximum number of warnings per user has been two; the third step – a sanction such as legal action with a fine or blocking of internet access – has not yet been taken, experts said at midem.

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