• United States
Contributing Writer

The clampdown on file swapping continues

Jan 30, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLegalVerizon

* Verizon ordered to identify file-swapping subscriber to RIAA

A strong blow was dealt to the underground nation of file swappers. In a court ruling last week, Verizon was ordered to hand over the name of a user who is a frequent file swapper to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The user is accused of making more than 600 copyrighted music files available over the Internet. U.S. District Court Judge John Bates handed down his ruling in defense of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

It is unclear whether the RIAA will pursue charges against the user, who is accused of making available more than 600 copyrighted music files over the Internet. The organization did release this statement, “Now that the court has ordered Verizon to live up to its obligation under the law, we look forward to contacting the account holder… so we can let them know that what they are doing is illegal.”

The RIAA added in the statement that there is no need for the illegal distribution of music over the Internet because the industry is making the music available via legitimate alternatives.

The music industry is hoping to send a ripple of fear through the file-swapping community and deter the prodigious sharing that has seemed to swell, despite the demise of Napster and other such peer-to-peer networks.

There is also a move afoot to get file swappers to accept the industry’s efforts to provide music legally. However, getting a file for free is not the same as paying and a lot of users just aren’t ready to fork over the money that industry-backed sites are requiring.

But the RIAA says it is resolved to continue its fight. Recently, it worked closely with the computer industry to come to an agreement over the creation of software and devices that allow for copyright infringement.