What is YouTubes' email address

Copyright infringement: YouTube and Google are forced to give out email addresses

In the event of a copyright infringement (here: providing copyrighted films on YouTube), YouTube and Google are obliged to disclose the email addresses of their users. However, the disclosure of telephone numbers and IP addresses cannot be required.

The defendants provided commercial services (Section 101 (2) No. 3 UrhG) for the infringements committed by the users. In accordance with Section 101 (3) No. 1 UrhG, you are therefore obliged to provide information on the "names and addresses of the manufacturers, suppliers and other previous owners of the copies (...)". The term "address" also includes the email address. The terms "address" and "address" have no different meanings. The fact that the term "address" in German originally only meant the postal address has historical reasons. It is all about specifying the place where you can "write to" someone. The chosen formulation of the "address" also goes back to 1990. At the time, e-mail was "of little practical use". If you equate "address" with "address", this also clearly includes the e-mail address. Here, too, it is an indication of "where one must write so that what has been written reaches the recipient". Only this understanding of the term adequately takes into account the changed communication habits and the triumphant advance of electronic business transactions.

Telephone number and IP address, on the other hand, are not covered by the right to information. According to common usage, "address" on the one hand and "telephone number" on the other hand represent different contact details. In spite of the word component "address", IP addresses are not an "address" because the IP address does not have any communication function. It is used solely to identify the device from which a particular website is accessed.

The judgment is not final. Due to the fundamental importance of the case, the OLG has approved the appeal. The matter is currently pending at the BGH (file number: I ZR 153/17)


08/22/2017, 08/22/2017 - Ref: 11 U 71/16

ECLI: DE: OLGHE: 2017: 0822.11U71.16.00

Source: PM of the OLG Frankfurt