article

Round Table

Posted: 2/2004

… ON A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT DECISION ABSOLVING VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.
FROM HAVING TO DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF INTERNET CUSTOMERS WHO ALLEGEDLY SHARED
HUNDREDS OF MUSIC FILES WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS. IN A
DECEMBER OPINION, THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
SAID VERIZON WAS NOT REQUIRED TO OBEY CLERK-ISSUED SUBPOENAS ISSUED UNDER THE
DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT BECAUSE THE CONTENT IN QUESTION DID NOT RESIDE
ON THE INTERNET PROVIDERS SERVERS.

We conclude [under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act]

that, as Verizon contends, a subpoena may be issued only to an
ISP engaged in storing on its servers material that is infringing or the subject
of infringing activity.

Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit

This decision
removes the threat of a radical, new subpoena process that empowers copyright
holders or anyone merely claiming to be a copyright holder to obtain personal
information about Internet users by simply filing a one-page form with a court
clerk. This harmful procedure exposes anyone who uses the Internet to potential
predators, scam artists and crooks including identity thieves and stalkers.

Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general
counsel, Verizon Communications Inc.

Regardless of this decision, we will continue to defend our
rights online on behalf of artists, songwriters and countless others involved in
bringing music to the public. We can and will continue to file copyright
infringement lawsuits against file sharers who engage in illegal activity.

Cary Sherman, president, Recording Industry Association of
America

Links
Verizon Communications Inc. www.verizon.com
Recording Industry Association of America www.riaa.org


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