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Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song Swapper - Judge

Old 01-21-03, 04:18 PM
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Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song Swapper - Judge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Recording companies won a victory in their fight against online piracy on Tuesday, when a U.S. court ordered Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ - news) to turn over the name of a customer suspected of downloading more than 600 songs in one day over the Internet.

The decision could set an important precedent as the recording industry asks schools, businesses and Internet providers to help them track down the online song swappers that they believe are cutting into their sales.

Under a 1998 digital-copyright law, Internet providers have voluntarily shut down Web sites that contain infringing material, but they have balked at requests to disconnect users who trade songs with each other directly using "peer to peer" networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus.

The recording industry sued Verizon last summer after it refused to reveal the name of a customer believed to have downloaded more than 600 songs in one day. Verizon said such a move would violate customer privacy and force Internet service providers to serve as online copyright cops.

Verizon said the law should not require it to block customer use of Kazaa and other networks, but in his opinion U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said the law "applies to all Internet service providers ... not just to those service providers storing information on a system or network at the discretion of a user."

A recording-industry spokesman said the decision validated their position and said illegal song swapping was a serious problem.

"Now that the court has ordered Verizon to live up to its obligation under the law, we look forward to contacting the account holder whose identity we were seeking so we can let them know that what they are doing is illegal," said Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites).

Verizon officials were not immediately available for comment.

The RIAA represents the five largest recording companies: AOL Time Warner(NYSE:AOL - news)'s Warner Music; Sony Corp (news - web sites).(6758.T).'s Sony Music; Bertelsmann AG (news - web sites)(BERT.UL)'s BMG; Vivendi Universal(NYSE:V - news)"s Universal Music Group; and EMI Group Plc (news - web sites)(EMI.L).

Forget about the war in Iraq, this is much more important. We must defeat the enemy : RIAA

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Old 01-21-03, 04:24 PM
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Old 01-21-03, 04:31 PM
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This thread & THIS one make me wanna go download some tunes...
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Old 01-21-03, 04:32 PM
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600 songs in one day? That guy's an amateur.
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Old 01-21-03, 04:50 PM
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(knock knock bang knock knock)

Hear that? That's the sound of the Music Industry nailing its own coffin shut. I'm very impressed.
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Old 01-22-03, 01:04 AM
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So how many songs is 20GB in one day?
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Old 01-22-03, 12:02 PM
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Big Brother is watching YOU!
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Old 01-22-03, 01:35 PM
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What if the guy/gal actually owns the music he downloaded? I know that is an extreme long shot, but just suppose. Boy will the RIAA look like the asses they are. Scratch that last line. They don't need any more help.

I can't wait to see how this pans out....
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Old 01-22-03, 05:50 PM
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I have no problem with this.

Downloading songs (assuming you don't own them, and I guarantee you he didn't own all 600 of those songs, and probably only owned a small minority of them) is using phone lines for criminal purposes.

I don't see this as any different that the phone companies having to turn over phone records in criminal investigations.

I'm all for anything that cuts down on piracy.
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Old 01-22-03, 11:16 PM
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Josh- I hope you work for a record label and have to say that because you better believe that if the record companies could have found a way to squeeze any more money out of consumers using the internet they would have.
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Old 01-23-03, 12:10 AM
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What would prevent this guy from going out, buying each cd that these 600 songs were on to prevent any kind of suit against himself from the RIAA?
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Old 01-23-03, 11:47 AM
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I don't work for a record company, nor do I like their policies.

But as much as I hate them, that doesn't make stealing right, and I'm all for anything to crack down on piracy.

Deftones, I'm sure he could go out and buy them to avoid action. What's preventing it is the person in question is likely totally unaware about this and doesn't know that they'll be knocking on his door.
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