by Mike Masnick

Judge Says No More DMCA Subpoenas For RIAA

from the hot-dam dept

Okay, okay, I'll post the story of the morning. Everyone has been submitting the fact that the three judge panel in the Court of Appeals has decided that the RIAA doesn't have the right to subpoena internet providers for names of file sharers. They actually read through the DMCA and realized that it was only supposed to apply to people hosting content on the service providers computers - and not accessing the internet via the service providers. The ruling basically says, "well, the DMCA didn't realize that there was the possibility of file sharing and doesn't cover it." One judge even states that the RIAA's claim "borders upon the silly." Of course, what this probably means is that the RIAA's lapdogs in Congress will quickly pass an amended DMCA which includes a provision for file sharing. Of course, opening up the DMCA for discussion might be dangerous, as it's possible that some others might push for things to go in the opposite direction. Still, it's good to see that a few judges seem to actually get what's going on. This overturns the earlier District Court opinion concerning Verizon that started the whole subpoena craze, and now makes it a good sign that the similar SBC case was moved to the same District Court who now has some more "guidance" from above. Update: Here's the full decision (pdf format).

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Andre, 19 Dec 2003 @ 9:25am

    No Subject Given

    The question is, will this get the RIAA to stop sending those threatening warning letters to poor people? I don't think they need the DMCA to extort money from people with the intimidation power of their legal forces...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 19 Dec 2003 @ 9:33am

      Re: No Subject Given

      But they can't figure out who to send the letters to if the ISPs don't have to respond to the subpoenas.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Hugh2d2, 19 Dec 2003 @ 9:42am

        Re: No Subject Given

        They'll just start with the A's in the phonebook and send out letters that start,

        "If you own a computer, please send a check or money order to:
        The RIAA
        c/o Idiots Who Don't Understand Their Customers,
        NY,NY 90021
        or else!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Beck, 19 Dec 2003 @ 10:27am


    What about the people who have already been found by the RIAA? Will they be able to get out of the lawsuit by claiming that their ISP should not have identified them? What if they have already paid a settlement?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.