The Danish Supreme Court recently ruled that evidence, such as IP addresses, are too weak and insufficient evidence to prove liability in file-sharing cases. In that case, a person who was accused of sharing 13,000 tracks online was only ordered to pay $1,900 (krone) — an amount significantly lowered than that requested by the record labels — because the quality of the evidence provided by an anti-piracy group was inadequate.
This court ruling has not only lowered the amount of compensation that accused file-sharers may owe to copyright owners, but has also set a high standard for the evidentiary support required in a file-sharing case. In the future, rights holders may need to gain physical access to an infringer’s computer in order to obtain sufficient evidence of alleged infringement. This type of discovery would be very expensive, according to a leading lawyer in the field, since a bailiff, IT experts, and a locksmith may be needed for such a process.
Interestingly, this court ruling may also be a reflection of the recent moral standards study conducted in Denmark, which “found that a high percentage of the public found illicit downloading socially acceptable.”