Man on a mission Declan McCulloch has this news in CNET:
- In court papers filed late Monday, the groups said that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has not followed the law in its efforts to learn more about a Kazaa user accused of illicitly trading music files.
Monday’s move highlights the latest battle lines that have been struck in the legal war over peer-to-peer networks. On one side are Internet companies, civil liberties groups and telecommunications providers, an alliance that is opposed by the RIAA and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The 30-page amicus brief, signed by 12 groups including the U.S. Internet Industry Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, and Yahoo, accuses the RIAA of hoping to turn Internet providers into copyright cops.
“What the RIAA is really seeking, at the end of the day, is to shift the burden of copyright enforcement from its own members–who apparently would prefer not to alienate potential customers by suing them outright–to an ISP that does nothing more than provide an Internet connection to the customer,” the brief says.
“What we hope to accomplish is to force the RIAA to follow established legal procedures and due process,” said David McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, which organized the brief. “The music industry pays the RIAA to investigate and prosecute copyright infractions. They don’t pay us a penny to do that. They don’t pay ISPs a penny to do that. Even if they did, it would be a violation of due process and subscriber privacy.”
Verizon’s user allegedly has been swapping songs by artists including Billy Joel, Barry White, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, N’Sync and Britney Spears.
Enlisting the DMCA
In July, the RIAA invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to force Verizon to turn over the identity of a Kazaa subscriber. Verizon opposed the request, telling a federal district court in Washington that the DMCA’s turbocharged subpoena process does not cover people who are participating in a peer-to-peer network like Kazaa.
At issue in the RIAA’s request is an obscure part of the DMCA that permits a copyright owner to send a subpoena ordering a service provider to turn over information about a subscriber. It is not necessary to file a lawsuit to take advantage of the DMCA’s expedited subpoena process….
Please see our post here for more background and info on the case.