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Thrust and Parry: RIAA-Verizon

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RIAA becomes petulant with Verizon:

    In a strongly worded brief filed in federal district court in Washington, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) assailed Verizon’s request for a stay of a Jan. 21 order as a brazen attempt by the telecommunications firm to “evade its responsibilities under the law.”

    The lawsuit, filed last August, pits the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against Internet users’ right to remain anonymous online. With the vocal assistance of civil liberties groups, Verizon has argued that the DMCA’s turbocharged subpoena process is not sufficiently privacy-protective, because it can be used to glean the identities of hundreds or thousands of suspected peer-to-peer pirates at a time.

    ….Sarah Deutsch, a Verizon vice president and associate general counsel, said: “This is just the RIAA’s desperate attempt to divert public attention from the fact that they want unlimited access to private communications. They’re trying to divert attention from some of the bad publicity that this case has garnered.”

    Deutsch said the RIAA had spurned a compromise proposal. “We offered that while the case was pending, we would forward cease-and-desist letters to our subscribers, at our own cost, without revealing our customers’ identities,” Deutsch said. “But RIAA refused.”

    Verizon has appealed last month’s order to comply with the DMCA subpoena, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will not hear the case until U.S. District Judge John Bates decides, possibly in the next few weeks, to grant a stay or not. [CNET]

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