RIAA: Shot Through the Heart?
Monday, December 22, 2003; 9:57 AM
"Stinging rebuke" honors went to the the San Jose Mercury News editorial board, which opined today that the ruling "is also an invitation to Congress to fix copyright law not only to protect the entertainment industry but also consumers whose rights have been trampled." In a separate article on Saturday, the Mercury News said the ruling "means the secret identities of thousands of file swappers are safe for now."
The Washington Post: Recording Industry Curbed On Music Suits
The Associated Press via The New York Times: Record Industry May Not Subpoena Providers (Registration required)
The San Jose Mercury News: Music File Swappers Prevail In Ruling
The D.C. appeals court's ruling (PDF)
The Merc's opinion piece said with the advent of the DMCA, Congress created a "streamlined subpoena process" and "understood that copyright holders need a quick and efficient way to counter electronic theft. But it wrote the digital copyright law in 1998, before the birth of Napster and its file-sharing offspring. So it's not surprising the law no longer meshes with technology. Unless it wins on appeal, the recording industry will lobby Congress to extend the subpoena power to theft via peer-to-peer networks. Before it consents, Congress must add protections, including notifying the individual involved, requiring judicial review and imposing penalties for abuse," the paper wrote.
San Jose Mercury News Editorial: Consider The Digital Consumer
Meanwhile, the ruling is "likely to hamper one of the industry's most important strategies: lawsuits against illegal file sharers," The Wall Street Journal said today. "The court struck down a lower court's ruling that had ordered Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over the identities of customers suspected of sharing music via Internet peer-to-peer services. The ruling will make it more cumbersome for the recording industry to learn the identities of major online music swappers -- and thus significantly impede the record labels' ability to quickly file large batches of lawsuits against these individuals," the newspaper reported today.
The Wall Street Journal: Music Industry's Move Against Swappers Hits Snag (Registration required)
The AP said "[l]egal experts said they did not expect the appeals ruling to affect 382 civil lawsuits the recording industry has filed since it announced its campaign six months ago. It also was not expected to affect financial settlements with at least 220 computer users who agreed to pay penalties from $2,500 to $7,500 each," the article said.
Newsday: Court Win For Illegal Music Downloads
The Associated Press via The New York Times: Record Industry May Not Subpoena Providers (Registration required) (Same link as above)