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Cologne court reacts to Redtube warning letter complaints

The Cologne district court has reacted to complaints about the Redtube streaming warning letters by issuing numerous decisions.

Cologne court reacts to Redtube warning letter complaints ©-ferkelraggae-Fotolia-Fotolia_31081868_XS

Cologne court reacts to Redtube warning letter complaints ©-ferkelraggae-Fotolia-Fotolia_31081868_XS

Redtube streaming warning letters

Just before Christmas in 2013 hundreds of warning letters were sent by the German law firm, Urmann & Collegen, accusing internet users of infringing German copyright law through the use of the streaming website Redtube. The warning letters were sent on behalf of The Archive AG.

The Cologne district court has now reacted to the wave of complaints it received and has issued numerous (preliminary) decisions in which it states that the warning letters fail to sufficiently demonstrate that a legal infringement had been committed.

According to the court, to prove a copyright infringement, the warning letters are required to assert that a download had taken place. In the case of the Redtube website, however, it could not be ruled out that the videos in question had been “streamed”. The legality of streaming is currently being disputed in Germany.

The court therefore seems to lean towards finding that a copyright infringement has not been committed. This is a welcomed development and is consistent with the view held here at WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE.

Incorrect investigation of the IP addresses

The court also expressed doubt as to the method used to investigate the IP addresses and questions how software is able to log IP addresses when it only communicates with the server on which a file is stored.

You can view the full text of the decision here.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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