HideOnly 1 day left to get your copy of the CIA's declassified training game by backing CIA: Collect It All on Kickstarter »
HideOnly 1 day left to get your copy of the CIA's declassified training game by backing CIA: Collect It All on Kickstarter »

Court Says File Sharers Have No Right To Anonymity... Mostly

from the with-a-little-exception dept

Thomas O'Toole alerts us to a recent ruling highlighting the rather unsurprising fact that file sharers can't hide behind a First Amendment anonymity claim to prevent an ISP from handing over their info. While I'm a big supporter of US courts properly recognizing that the First Amendment protects sites from being compelled to reveal anonymous commenters, this lawsuit definitely seemed like a huge stretch. However, O'Toole does note that this appeals court ruling did make one important correction to the lower court's magistrate judge, who had claimed that simply by putting files on a file sharing site, users had given up anonymity:
Lastly, as precedents have advised us, the Doe Defendants have a minimal expectation of privacy, especially when they allegedly engaged in P2P network sharing. Conceptually, the notion of allowing others to have access to one's database by virtue of the Internet in order to pluck from a computer information and data that the computer owner or user wishes to share renders void any pretext of privacy.
But that makes little sense, of course. Thankfully, the appeals court pointed that out:
The privacy claimed here is not for the information that the computer owner or user wishes to share but rather for his or her identity.
Indeed. Sharing data doesn't mean you are sharing your identity. Of course, that fine point didn't matter in the larger context of the ruling, but it's still a good point to raise.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    slander (profile), 30 Apr 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Court Says File Sharers Have No Rights

    FTFY

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: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

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