U.S. court nixes Net music subpoenas

By Thomas McGuire on December 22, 2003, 3:40 PM
I guess it really is Christmas.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- In a surprise setback for the recording industry, a U.S. appeals court said Friday its methods for tracking down those who copy its music over the Internet are not authorized by law.

The Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group, has sought to force Verizon Communications & other Internet service providers to reveal the names of customers it suspects may be copying music without permission.


Would you like to know more? Thanks Masque.




User Comments: 37

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StormBringer said:
That could open a whole new can of worms, possible countersuits from those who've now had their privacy violated by the RIAA(I kind of doubt it, but its a possibility) Since they violated laws in order to gather information about the suspected copyright violators, should this not make all those cases null and void?This throws a wrench into the works of RIAA's little plan at any rate, though I would imagine they are already devising a way around this law, or having their lapdogs in Washington push their latest scheme.
tripleione said:
Wow... didn't see that one coming. Heh.Nice to see that the RIAA is getting some of their own now.
Strakian said:
I always thought they were overstepping their bounds... this is kinda crazy though. I don't understand government or society anymore for that matter.We should have an old fashioned hangin' Cletus!
StormBringer said:
Another thing this could do, which I didn't think about till reading the article a second time, is cause RIAA to file formal lawsuits against all the ISPs that it suspects users are downloading copyrighted music. This would likely cause ISPs to monitor customer activity and close accounts of anyone doing anything "shady"in order to avoid such legal suites. If that happens, then this ruling would actually come back to bite consumers in the a** rather than RIAA.
shnig said:
Ah but whats to say they would win these formal lawsuits?What I dont get is that the last 50 years have been the ONLY time in history where musicians have been making serious cash and then all this s*it happens when they loose VERY little money.
Federelli said:
About time this was done, i am in complete opposition to what the RIAA is doing, there are always other methods of stoping the redistribution of illegal copyrighted software, what do you think?
poertner_1274 said:
Storm, I would think that all those users who have been violated an tried, and had to pay a fine should have the right to countersue the RIAA for personal violation of rights. Since it is now aparent that the RIAA had no right to get the information to charge these people, I'm sure this is going to lead to a HUGE mess. I would also assume that the RIAA is going to appeal this ruling.What you said about the RIAA cracking down on the ISP's instead of the individuals might get the ISP's to crack down on this sort of thing. This will be very interesting to see what it developes into.I specifically remember one of the first people who got sued was a 12 year old girl. The parents paid the RIAA $2,000USD to drop the lawsuit.....what do they get in return. I'm sure they are following this closely and will be back in court soon to get their money back.
StormBringer said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by poertner_1274 [/i]Storm, I would think that all those users who have been violated an tried, and had to pay a fine should have the right to countersue the RIAA for personal violation of rights. Since it is now aparent that the RIAA had no right to get the information to charge these people, I'm sure this is going to lead to a HUGE mess. I would also assume that the RIAA is going to appeal this ruling.What you said about the RIAA cracking down on the ISP's instead of the individuals might get the ISP's to crack down on this sort of thing. This will be very interesting to see what it developes into.I specifically remember one of the first people who got sued was a 12 year old girl. The parents paid the RIAA $2,000USD to drop the lawsuit.....what do they get in return. I'm sure they are following this closely and will be back in court soon to get their money back. [/quote] As far as I know, no one has yet been to court, they have settled most of the cases out of court and the others were still awaiting trial. But I agree that they should have the right to countersue, but would it be worth it for them to do so? If ISPs started cracking down and monitoring usage, they might also start blocking sites and using other tactics to censor our net usage.
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by StormBringer [/i]As far as I know, no one has yet been to court, they have settled most of the cases out of court and the others were still awaiting trial. But I agree that they should have the right to countersue, but would it be worth it for them to do so? If ISPs started cracking down and monitoring usage, they might also start blocking sites and using other tactics to censor our net usage. [/quote] Item #1. I'm glad you guys brought this up because I was about to. The RIAA will probably start scrambling to plug the dike because ANYBODY that settled and that includes a certain University student out West that I remember reading about (I believe he was the first) is probably already contacting their lawyers....there's legal fees, possible defamation of character et al to worry about defending against. This will be interesting to say the least.Item #2. Storm, I don't think you'll see the usage monitoring because we're currently in a competitive trend amongst ISP's and that includes the big competition between cable and the telcos. Nobody is going to want to take a chance at ticking off current and prospective customers. Just my $.02
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by tripleione [/i]Wow... didn't see that one coming. Heh.Nice to see that the RIAA is getting some of their own now. [/quote] I had expected it sooner or later. The IP groups have been giving in wihtout a fight, and just handing over the info. I figured when enough people got ticked off, or the IP got fed up with the requests, they would be taken to court.
Krugger said:
It's about time. the RIAA has been waving the DMCA around like a loaded gun, and judges who likely don't understand what exactly they're dealing with grant whatever the RIAA wants. A few ISPs luckily had been standing up to them, and now this great motion. what a wonderful step in the right direction. now they really will need at least some kind of proof... the other way was just absurd.
p05ta1 said:
it is about time riaa gets a little back.
werty316 said:
No one can stop em! HAHAHA!!:haha:
MaskedBurrito said:
It's nice to hear this news. The power they were excercising through the DMCA was beginning to reach frightening proportions. How long until corporations buy a law that allows them their own justice system. How do RIAA cops sound to you all???
SNGX1275 said:
Well this can still be appealed to higher courts. This isn't the end I'm sure. The RIAA's whole marketing strategy is wrong for battling internet piracy, but what people are doing (dling music off the net that they haven't paid for) is still morally wrong, and the courts are trying to determine if its illegal too. So what the RIAA is doing really is fighting back against people 'stealing' from them - and apparently they haven't figured out the best way to catch the big guys yet.
tripleione said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]Well this can still be appealed to higher courts. This isn't the end I'm sure. The RIAA's whole marketing strategy is wrong for battling internet piracy, but what people are doing (dling music off the net that they haven't paid for) is still morally wrong, and the courts are trying to determine if its illegal too. So what the RIAA is doing really is fighting back against people 'stealing' from them - and apparently they haven't figured out the best way to catch the big guys yet. [/quote] I don't think the issue in the matter is whether or not downloading music is "morally wrong" but whether or not downloading music is illegal because the person in question could be stealing it.However, it's unfair to have someone's privacy invaded by the RIAA if they aren't doing anything wrong. For example, what if someone were to buy a CD from a store somewhere and download a song that's on the CD? Is it right for the RIAA to invade that person's privacy even though he or she has done nothing wrong? In my opinion, no.
Krugger said:
i agree, however most of their issue is people who make mp3s available for upload to others. its not the person downloading that is clearly breaking the law, but the person sharing the files is.
chuonthis said:
Is it legal for someone to download a song off Kazaa just because he owns the CD? I don't think buying the CD actually grants you permission to download an illegally shared music file.
Nodsu said:
Yes it does. When you buy a song (on a CD) you are allowed to have many personal copies of it. Noone is limiting how exactly you make/obtain those copies. It is similar to purchasing (some) software. The thing you buy from the software company is the license key that allows you to use an instance of the program. How exactly you obtain the software itself is up to you, you can even copy the CD from your friend.
poertner_1274 said:
Krugger, that is what is talked about in the Canada thread, that uploading is illegal, but downloading is not. This is how they are trying to crack down on people and get them to not share as much because they could get in more trouble, than downloading it. If everyone took away their shares, then there would be nothing to download (theoretically).Nodsu, that is where the line can be drawn, because what if you buy a cd and then download the songs, and your cd breaks or gets lost? Are you required to get rid of these songs? Since you no longer 'own' the cd.
Nodsu said:
You are not required to get rid of the songs because you are entitled to have a personal backup of the CD. And it is not said in what form the "backup" has to be.
poertner_1274 said:
So then what is to say that you can't just download all sorts of songs and just claim that your CD's have been stolen, lost, or broken? Seems a bit strange.
StormBringer said:
Poert does raise an interesting point though. Let's say you "had" a CD, but you lost it somehow. Now you still have the backup you made, but you do not physically have the original anymore, therefore you cannot prove you ever had it. Unless you kept the original receipt from the purchase, then how would you prove you had bought it to begin with. This raises the question, do you have to prove that you purchased it, or do they have to prove you did not.
chuonthis said:
I think the music industry intended for consumers to buy a CD and only be able to listen to that one CD. Before burners and DAE, people who wanted to listen to a CD in two places had to buy two copies of it. For now at least, since there is nothing on the CD that actually says otherwise, we are just assuming that we can have as many personal copies of the CD. I really don't think people should be allowed to download a song that is shared illegally just because they own the song on CD. If they wanted the song, they should rip it themselves.
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by StormBringer [/i]Poert does raise an interesting point though. Let's say you "had" a CD, but you lost it somehow. Now you still have the backup you made, but you do not physically have the original anymore, therefore you cannot prove you ever had it. Unless you kept the original receipt from the purchase, then how would you prove you had bought it to begin with. This raises the question, do you have to prove that you purchased it, or do they have to prove you did not. [/quote] They would have to assume innocence, especially if it was only one CD, However if your "acquired" numerous CDs worth of downloads and claimed you lost all of them, they may have a better foot to stand on against the downloader. They would then have to show proof of theft (If you didn't report $200 worth of CDs stolen from you, you're an ***** :-) ) fire, or some other loss. 1 CD or maybe even 3 but above that a story wouldn't fly well.
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by chuonthis [/i]I think the music industry intended for consumers to buy a CD and only be able to listen to that one CD. Before burners and DAE, people who wanted to listen to a CD in two places had to buy two copies of it. For now at least, since there is nothing on the CD that actually says otherwise, we are just assuming that we can have as many personal copies of the CD. I really don't think people should be allowed to download a song that is shared illegally just because they own the song on CD. If they wanted the song, they should rip it themselves. [/quote] So only the smart or the rich can have an extra copy? That seems awfully discrimintory. i also assume you would be able to tell the differce from a downloaded version and a self ripped copy? Assuming that it is not in the "shared folder":p
MrGaribaldi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by chuonthis [/i]I think the music industry intended for consumers to buy a CD and only be able to listen to that one CD. Before burners and DAE, people who wanted to listen to a CD in two places had to buy two copies of it. [/quote] Nope... We had those nice analogue tape recorders (do you remember the walkman?)...But with those the RIAA (after trying to get them stopped in court) found out that the quality was degraded every time it was copied... Thus the problem of people copying songs from one-another wasn't so big, since after a couple of links removed from the original, the sound got so bad it wasn't worth copying... But now we've gone digital, with no degradation of the signal... at all!Got a bit carried away there...My point is that we're allowed to make quite a few copies/as many copies we like (depending on what country you're in), due to the fair use clause most countries has... So the RIAA knows that they can't get us to buy a cd for every player we want to use it on (though I'd guess that's they're wet dream!), but rather that we'll buy one, and copy it as much as we'd like...And this the RIAA does not go after... But when you start uploading/downloading from the internet, you've passed a limit, and they'll do anything they can to make you pay... Because if they didn't, they'd have to wake up and see that the world has changed, and that consumers no longer want to buy a cd with 1-2 good songs, with the rest just fillers, for 20-30$ (at least that's the price in Norway)
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]Thus the problem of people copying songs from one-another wasn't so big, since after a couple of links removed from the original, the sound got so bad it wasn't worth copying... But now we've gone digital, with no degradation of the signal... at all!) [/quote]I just read an article in Wired that states that they have been (music industry) distorting the sound quality of music in recent years. They increase loudness, which in turn creates said distortion. Rather intresting I thought. with all the digital ability, they actually are moving away from crisp sound to jumbled mess.
MrGaribaldi said:
Incredible! Now that the movie companies are putting in so much effort into soundquality, we're getting home THX surround systems and people are getting more and more aware of what sound systems they're buying, the studios are [i]increasing distortions[/i]?!?Guess they used "special logic" to conclude that it was a good idea....
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]Guess they used "special logic" to conclude that it was a good idea.... [/quote] I think it's the same logic the movie and recording industries have been using for years.....hence their current predicaments.
videobruce said:
Bill Gates, Jack Valenti..............masters of the universe!People with way to much $$ wanting more!
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by videobruce [/i]Bill Gates, Jack Valenti..............masters of the universe!People with way to much $$ wanting more! [/quote] Capitalism to the Nth degree. puke:
jerrag said:
Great to see these ****** put down for a few days, but worry not they'll get back to it very soon, all they need is a higher court to say what their doing is OK.As far as fighting it out in court, have you seen what a lawyer charges per hour lately??Most of those sued or even threatened look once at what it will cost to defend and make an offer to settle quickly. What one needs is to get the 8) ACLU 8) involved on the side of a defendant.Possibly we've had it too good for too long as far as shared music is concerned but if they kill it all, I'll sure miss it, and those movies...
Masque said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by jerrag [/i]Most of those sued or even threatened look once at what it will cost to defend and make an offer to settle quickly. What one needs is to get the 8) ACLU 8) involved on the side of a defendant.[/quote] .....and that is what ticks me off the most about them. It's "strictly" scare tactics they're using....it's working with some peeps, but not all. Some ARE fighting and I believe the ACLU has been involved as well. I for one would like to see this whole damn mess come to a conclusion....and a good one for all parties involved.
---agissi--- said:
Thats interesting but you know its not "authorized by law", however it will be in a month :D Doubt this will set much back when it comes to RIAA.
ak_in_charge said:
Im glad RIAA got it handed to um. I support file sharing all the way
Mictlantecuhtli said:
Lawsuits, counterlawsuits, lawsuits and then some counterlawsuits. More subpoenas, more suing.The only people who benefit from this are lawyers.*goes back to listen to Ogg Vorbis files encoded from his real audio CDs*
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