A Swiss Supreme Court has narrowly ruled against using peer-to-peer networks to hunt down file-sharers.
The five judge panel voted three to two against pirate bounty hunter Logistep AG, which forwarded the IP addresses of suspected copyright infringers to owners.
Logistep's services appeared similar to Danish firm DtecNet, which provided the IP address and activity reports used in the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT's) copyright suit against Australian ISP iiNet.
The Swiss Supreme Court ruled that IP addresses under its data protection law were considered personal data and that a third party cannot collect that data without prior permission.
The decision brought to an end a claim made in 2008 by the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) that Logistep's business model violated the country's data protection act.