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December 19, 2003

Appeals Ct Declares RIAA "Silly"

The Recording Insustry Association of America (RIAA) just lost a BIG one.

The D.C. Circuit declared that broadband service providers do not have to turn over customer names without a subpeona-- a big blow for privacy:

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected efforts by the recording industry to compel the nation's Internet providers to identify subscribers accused of illegally distributing music online.

In a substantial setback for the industry's controversial anti-piracy campaign, the three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a ruling by the trial judge to enforce a copyright subpoena.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates had approved use of the subpoenas, forcing Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over names and addresses for at least four Internet subscribers. Since then, Verizon has identified dozens of its other subscribers to music industry lawyers.

The appeals court said one of the arguments by the Recording Industry Association of America "borders upon the silly," rejecting the trade group's claims that Verizon was responsible for downloaded music because such data files traverse its network.

Posted by Nathan at December 19, 2003 11:25 AM