Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Register: "Jane Doe Ruling limits effect of RIAA legal defeat"

On Friday I was doing the happy dance and celebrating an early present from the Court of Appeals, but apparently my joyful celebration was a bit premature, at least according to The Register:

"On Friday, the DC federal appeals court ruled that the recording industry's efforts to subpoena the names and addresses of ISP Verizon's customers who were using P2P file-sharing networks to download and upload copyrighted music were unlawful. However, the decision rests on a narrow reading of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and likely will have little long-term impact on the file sharing debate.

In fact, at the same time the DC court was narrowing the ability to get discovery of anonymous users of the Internet, a court in Connecticut reinforced a private company's right to determine the identity of a person who anonymously criticized the company in e-mail.

The rulings both go to the core of that most cherished and reviled privilege of online life: anonymity. "

So, the end reult is that the RIAA may not be able to issue tons of subpoenas all at once, but they can file tons of lawsuits all at once.

Is this just a case of SSDS (same shit different strategies)? Probably, but I have a strong feeling that the lawsuit route is more potentially harmful to the RIAA, who may end up filing suit against even more gradmas, minors, honors students, etc. What I think would be interesting: it's entirely conceivable that the RIAA may end up suing an employee, relative of an employee, consultant or relative of a consultant, a major artist, or . . . well, I'm sure you get the picture - and they probably have, too, considering the high-powered, higly-paid legal minds they've got working on this issue. I think there's a good chance the RIAA might end up making themselves look even worse, though they're already guilty of a lot in the court of public opinion.

- posted by laurie @ 12/23/2003 10:37:00 AM
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