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EFFector - Volume 16, Issue 2 - Judge Orders Verizon to Reveal Identity of KaZaA User


EFFector - Volume 16, Issue 2 - Judge Orders Verizon to Reveal Identity of KaZaA User

EFFector       Vol. 16, No. 2       January 25, 2003

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 241th Issue of EFFector:

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Alert - Urge Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the DMCRA! (1/5)

Representatives Rick Boucher and John Doolittle recently re-introduced the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA, H.R. 107), which would enact labelling requirements for usage-impaired "copy-protected" compact discs, as well as several amendments to 1998's infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Use your voice to protect your digital fair use rights! After several years on legislative defense, this is your opportunity to let Congress know that we want positive changes to the DMCA. Tell your friends, tell your family, but first TELL CONGRESS!

Use the EFF Action Center to send a letter to your Rep.

Judge Orders Verizon to Reveal Identity of KaZaA User

Copyright Enforcement Trumps Privacy Rights

Washington, D.C. - A District Court judge recently ordered Verizon Internet Services to divulge the name of a Verizon subscriber to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) because the subscriber allegedly used KaZaA peer-to-peer software to share music online.

The RIAA sought the information from Verizon using a controversial subpoena provision introduced by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA subpoena provision is a mandate that ISPs provide copyright owners with information about alleged infringers. Verizon refused to divulge the subscriber's identity, claiming that the provision didn't cover alleged copyright-infringing material that resides on individuals' own computers, it only covers material that resides on an ISP's own computer.

Judge Bates of the Washington D.C. District Court rejected Verizon's interpretation of the DMCA subpoena provision, ordering Verizon to reveal the subscriber's identity.

The dire implication of this ruling is that any copyright owner who claims infringement can force an ISP to reveal subscribers' identities merely by obtaining a subpoena from a district court clerk, without any judicial oversight.

EFF believes the DMCA subpoena provision endangers consumers' privacy and is inconsistent with the constitutional right to anonymous speech. The DMCA provision counters established case law that provides due process safeguards designed to protect the anonymity of speakers until a court declares evidence of wrongdoing. EFF maintains that these same due process standards should apply to DMCA subpoenas.

"Why should a copyright owner who claims copyright infringement have any greater right to obtain someone's identity than a company who wants to obtain the identify of an anonymous bulletin board poster?" said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "The same procedural safeguards should apply."

"The big losers from this decision are American consumers," said EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "People used to rest assured that their ISP would protect their privacy. After this decision, your ISP will be required to turn over your identity to any copyright holder simply because they claim you're doing something illegal."

Related Links:

For this release:

The court order:

More about RIAA v. Verizon:

Johansen Verdict Appealed by Norwegian Prosecutors

Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Viewing Own DVDs

Oslo, Norway - Norwegian government prosecutors recently submitted an appeal of the case against Jon Johansen, a teenager who again faces criminal charges for helping to write and publish a DVD descrambling program. Johansen used the program called DeCSS to watch his own DVDs on his Linux computer.

Johansen's attorney Halvor Manshaus, of the lawfirm Schjodt AS, provided the following statement:

"It is correct that the prosecution has decided to appeal the court ruling in this case. This is not unexpected, as the prosecution has flagged this as a case of principle interest. The appeals court, Borgarting lagmannsrett, may decide not to grant the appeal, as there is a screening principle for criminal cases. If the appeal is granted, this means that there will be full proceedings before the appeal court on all aspects of the case, i.e., both factual evidence and legal arguments. I am positive with regard to the final outcome of the case."


For this advisory:

More on the Johansen case:

Information on related DVD CCA cases:

Record Companies to Pay Millions for Price-Fixing - Send It to the EFF!

In September of 2002, five of the largest record companies agreed to pay a settlement of over $140 million for price-fixing CDs; approximately $67 million is supposed to reach consumers who were harmed as a result of this nefarious scheme. However, the settlement is getting carved up in $5-20 pieces, depending on how many people claim the money on the official settlement site. This doesn't sound like a very good way to make them pay, does it?

Luckily, there's a better way! San Francisco resident Rick Abruzzo has been kind enough to set up "," a site that outlines some of the reasons you should claim your check and then send the money to EFF. For instance:

"If there is any organization that tussles with the recording industry on a regular basis, it's the EFF. The EFF fights constantly to protect and broaden consumers' and artists' rights, or in some cases just trying to maintain what little rights we have. Let's try to do something that will help prevent the media industry from manipulating the market again."

So claim your check, send the record companies' money to us, and enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of irony.


Official Settlement Site:

Wired - "Few Takers for CD Settlement Cash:",1412,57111,00.html

Holiday Thanks

EFF would like to thank everyone for their generosity this holiday season. We'd especially like to thank BareBones Software, Jim Caruso and IDG. If you didn't get a chance to support EFF over the holidays, it's not too late! You can make a donation or become a member here:

Deep Links

Deep Links features noteworthy news items, victories, and threats from around the Internet.

EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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Ren Bucholz, Activist

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