We recently received a copyright notice from Fechner Law in Germany. They were asking for an immediate takedown of the offending URL plus a cash settlement for use of an allegedly infringing image on an easyDNS customer’s website (which we are neither the webhost nor DNS provider for, just registrar).
They had apparently sent earlier requests which we had never received (the email address they cite has a typo in it), we finally received the copy via postal mail, instructing our client and/or MyPrivacy.net to transfer € 1,481 to their law firm.
As is standard procedure, we acknowledged receipt of their letter and asked that they supply a digital copy of it so that we may forward their complaint to our customer along with a reminder that our Plain English Terms of Service require that all clients action copyright takedown notices.
Instead of supplying that requested digital copy, we received an email response that we are obligated to provide our customer’s name and email address, and if we did not comply would have a criminal complaint brought against us:
From: Robert Fechner <robert.fechner@[redacted].com>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2019 22:20:25 +0200
Subject: [Redacted] / MyPrivacy.net [14-00380]
Dear Mr Jeftovic,
I appreciate your alleged concern for your users’ privacy.
Nonetheless, according to OLG Frankfurt a. Main, Urteil v. 22.8.2017,
Az. 11 U 71/16 you have to provide us at least with a name and e-mail of the infringer.
If you fail to comply with the law, further proceedings will be to file a criminal complaint against you in order to acquire this information on the basis of § 14 II TMG.
In this case, additional damages due to your uncooperative and unlawful behaviour will be claimed.
We await your reply until 20.09.2019.
Rechtsanwalt Robert Fechner
It’s almost as if Herr Fechner doesn’t understand that Canada is a completely different country than Germany, and thus businesses operating here are subject to Canadian, not German law, meaning:
- We are subject to Canadian privacy law (PIPEDA)
- Canadian Copyright Law provides for ISPs to forward copyright infringement notices to customers (for which the ISP may charge the complainant a fee for doing so).
- We only disclose client data pursuant to a valid court order, subpoena or warrant lawfully executed in the Province of Ontario
We have further advised Herr Fechner that both easyDNS and our lawyers take a dim view of being threatened with a criminal complaint over something like this and we wonder out loud if the German bar association would have anything to say about one of their own abusing their position and misrepresenting the law in this manner.