Retired, Computerless Woman Fined For Pirating ‘Hooligan’ Movie
Despite not owning a computer or even a router, a retired woman has been ordered by a court to pay compensation to a movie company. The woman had been pursued by a rightsholder who claimed she had illegally shared a violent movie about hooligans on the Internet, but the fact that she didn’t even have an email address proved of little interest to the court. Guilty until proven innocent is the formula in Germany.
The just-concluded case in Germany demonstrates perfectly that in some jurisdictions the standard way to deal with a file-sharing claim is guilty until proven innocent.
At 09:10 during a cold January morning in 2010, the defendant in the case says she was tucked up in bed. A movie copyright holder, however, insists the retired single woman was illegally sharing files on the Internet.
The settlement letter sent to the woman by the copyright holder stated clearly that on January 4th she’d been using the eDonkey network to share a violent film about hooligans. For this offense she must pay compensation of around 650 euros or face court, they said.