- Bates originally ordered Verizon to reveal the customers’ names in January, but Verizon had argued that their identities should be protected as it pursues an appeal.
The ruling marks another legal victory for the recording industry as it tries to stamp out the unauthorized Internet song-swapping it says is partially responsible for a decline in CD sales.
The Recording Industry Association of America (news – web sites) took Verizon to court last summer in an effort to get the telecommunications giant to help crack down on online song-swapping.
The RIAA argued that Verizon is obligated under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act to help its members to protect their copyrights. Verizon says it is willing to help, but argued that the law only applies to Web pages stored on its computers, not traffic on the “peer-to-peer” networks that merely travel across its wires.
….A Verizon lawyer said the company would ask the Court of Appeals to stay Bates’ decision.
“We’re hopeful that on appeal the court will look beyond the interests of large copyright owners such as RIAA and realize the case has implications far beyond the goal of enforcement of copyright,” said Verizon Vice President Sarah Deutsch.
As it stands, the decision could allow stalkers and other criminals to use copyright claims to track down people they meet online, Deutsch said. [Reuters]
Slipping into legal terminology, I would say this ruling blows chunks.