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D2.2: Set of use cases and scenarios

Introduction  Title:
 Case n° 2: R.I.A.A. (Recording Industry Association of America) vs. Verizon & others.


Case n° 1: The Ouvaton Case

Do you have the right to encourage people on a website to destroy some street bulletin boards in the metro of Paris? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but the question here is whether you have the right to remain covered by anonymity or not. The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (in a summary proceeding) had to answer this question when it was confronted with the following facts.

“Ouvaton”, a French hosting provider, hosted a website. This website encouraged its readers publicly and explicitly to destroy publicity boards in the metro of Paris as a protest to the content of the publicity. “Metrobus” was the company responsible for the bulletin boards in the Paris subways. Metrobus asked Ouvaton to provide with all information that can help identify the authors of the website. Although the website closed after being summoned and although the hosting provider was not liable for the content because it was closed after being summoned, the hosting provider was ordered by the Tribunal to communicate to Metrobus any information that could lead to the identity of the authors.

We can conclude from this case that it is necessary that the communication of information relating to a possible identity (namely in this case IP numbers, known by the hosting provider only) can only be required by a judicial order in a criminal case. But, as a perverse consequence, it is the civil party that now also has access to the identity of the website creators, so that it (Metrobus in casu) can claim civil damages. Thanks to the court order in a criminal case, whether it has lead to a criminal prosecution or not, the civil party gains access to the identity of a third party that relied in first instance on its anonymity. Thirdly, we can conclude from this story that the non-identified person (the creators of the Ouvaton website) himself in fact had no possibility to defend himself before court against the revelation of his identity. If he would like to be involved in the court case to defend himself, he would become identified so that the involvement in the procedure to protect one’s own anonymity would have a contradictory effect… 



Introduction  fidis-wp2-del2.2.Cases_stories_and_Scenario_04.sxw  Case n° 2: R.I.A.A. (Recording Industry Association of America) vs. Verizon & others.
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