The European Court of Justice, the top court in the European Union, has set its position on a "fight" between Telefonica (a Spanish telecommunications company which provides Internet services) and Promusicae (entity that represents musicians and record companies in Spain) regarding the request Promusicae made to Telefonica for it to hand-over the personal data of users of P2P networks that were allegedly downloading illegal music.
On CNET: "Telefonica maintained that Spanish law required it to turn over these addresses only in criminal cases or matters of national security. The Spanish court overseeing the case asked for an opinion from the European Court of Justice, which essentially backed Telefonica, saying that this information did not need to be turned over in civil cases.
This opinion's not a legally binding ruling, but if the Spanish court accepts the opinion and rules accordingly, this could form the basis for similar decisions throughout the EU."
This measure will mean a lot more work for the record companies and copyright entities since this was the most effective way to catch the illegal downloaders. These entities will now have to come up with some other technical method without violating the EU's stringent privacy laws.
I think there are some judges in the European Court of Justice that really like BitTorrent, eMule or Kazza. It's just a theory :-)
Source: CNET News