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Court Rules Verizon Can Refuse to ID Customers to Music Industry

December 19, 2003

Court Rules Verizon Can Refuse to ID Customers to Music Industry

In a victory for Verizon and the privacy of Internet users, the D.C. Circuit Court today dismissed the recording industry's subpoenas for user identities. (PDF opinion) The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed
nearly 3,000 subpoenas in Washington, D.C., as a prelude to
lawsuits against 382 alleged filesharers. The court today
ruled that those subpoenas are not authorized by the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act.

"Internet users are the winners in the Verizon case," said
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Wendy
Seltzer. "The effect of the appeals court decision is that
we do not lose our privacy simply by connecting to the
Internet. The ruling stops the record labels from taking our
free speech rights as collateral damage in the campaign
against the American music fan."

EFF filed an amicus brief supporting Verizon on behalf of 45
consumer, privacy, and Internet industry groups. (case archive)

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