- Academic-library groups have joined 33 other organizations in filing a legal brief in support of Verizon Communications. The company is trying to conceal from the recording industry the names of music fans who have used Verizon telephone lines to trade copyrighted material illegally.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America in its suit against Verizon. In two separate rulings, Judge John D. Bates has said that Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act permits a copyright owner — in this case, represented by the recording-industry group — to send a subpoena ordering a communication-service provider to reveal information about a subscriber. Under the law, the subpoenas can be issued by a court clerk without any approval from a judge.
Verizon is challenging those rulings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Among those supporting Verizon’s appeal are the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of Research Libraries.
….The brief, which was filed on Friday, says that Section 512 of the digital-copyright law threatens consumers’ privacy and fails to honor the constitutional right to free speech.
…The brief also says the Recording Industry Association of America has already shown clumsiness in ferreting out people who download music illegally. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
The brief can be found here, with all of these organizations supporting it: BRIEF OF ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC TECHNOLOGY, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF LAW LIBRARIES, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION CAPITAL AREA, AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL, AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, ASSOCIATION OF RESEARCH LIBRARIES, CAPRICA INTERNET SERVICES, CITIZENS FOR A SOUND ECONOMY FOUNDATION, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, COMPUTER & COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, CONSUMER ACTION, CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA, CONSUMERS UNION, DIGITALCONSUMER.ORG, DIGITAL FUTURE COALITION, ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER, EUROPEAN INTERNET INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, FRONTIER & CITIZENS COMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES, INKEEPER CO., MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT, MERCURY NETWORK CORP., NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSUMER AGENCY ADMINISTRATORS, NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE, NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE ORDER OF PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY, NEW YORK STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION, INC., PACIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE, PRIVACY RIGHTS CLEARINGHOUSE, PRIVACYACTIVISM, PROGRESSIVE INTERNET ACTION, PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, SBC INTERNET SERVICES, SOUTHERN STAR, STIC.NET, LP, TEXAS INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION, UNITED STATES INTERNET INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, UNITED STATES INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER ASSOCIATION, UNITED STATES TELECO M ASSOCIATION, UTILITY CONSUMERS ACTION NETWORK, WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS, WIREDSAFETY.ORG, AND ZZAPP! INTERNET SERVICES AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT VERIZON INTERNET SERVICES AND URGING REVERSAL.
It is completely unacceptable that under the DMCA, subpoenas can be issued by a court clerk without any approval from a judge.