German Court Releases the Names and Addresses of Redtube Porn Viewers

Your secret's out! Thanks to a German court's mistake, 20,000 German porn watchers have had their names and addresses released to the public. The people, who watched porn on US-based site Redtube, are also being fined 250 euros (approximately $344).

It all started when the firm Urman + Collegen (U+C), which represents clients who claim their copyrighted content had been uploaded to Redtube, asked German internet provider Deutsche Telekom to release the names of all those who had viewed the video. U+C then sent letters with fines attached to those unlucky 20,000.

But the ruling is pretty muddled, since copyright infringement actually applies to downloading, not simply streaming. Basically, just for watching a video online in the privacy of their homes — which is in fact legal — tens of thousands of people have been publicly shamed and now have to pay up (we may all soon have to think twice before watching anything on YouTube).

"This is a huge mistake, and the fact that these people's private details were released is very worrying."

"This is a huge mistake, and the fact that these people's private details were released is very worrying," said attorney Christian Solmecke from the Cologne-based law firm Wilde Beuger Solmecke. Solmecke is representing 600 people in this case. He has instructed them not to pay their fines.

The case reaches back to August but the cease and desist letters were sent to these poor German people last week. Viewers were traced by their IP addresses, as detected on Redtube. Yikes — seems like we are always being watched.

Image: Katie Brady/Flickr