Copyright and Privacy: Pre-trial Discovery of User Identities

Cambridge University Press
Publication Type:
Across Intellectual Property: Essays in Honour of Sam Ricketson, 2020
Issue Date:
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The relationship between copyright and privacy is complex: copyright and privacy may be mutually reinforcing or may conflict. This chapter explores the relationship between copyright and privacy in the context of pre-trial discovery of identities of internet users allegedly committing copyright infringements by use of peer-to-peer (P2P), principally BitTorrent, networks. In particular, the chapter examines the extent to which courts granting identity disclosure from ISPs satisfactorily address conflicts between copyright and privacy. The chapter argues that judicial reasoning in this context may be improved by means of structured rights-balancing, which is to be preferred to conventional multi-factor common law reasoning.
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