• United States

Verizon appeals court order to identify file-trading subscriber

Feb 05, 20032 mins
Internet Service ProvidersLegalNetworking

* Verizon looks for stay pending appeal in copyright case

Verizon is appealing a federal court order to turn over the name of one of its Internet Services customer to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The local exchange carrier was ordered in late January to identify the customer who is accused of illegally downloading copyrighted music from the Internet. Verizon is now asking another court to temporarily halt the original court order until its appeal is heard.

This all stems from a suit filed by the trade group, RIAA after Verizon failed to cooperate with a subpoena issued in July.

While it seems Verizon is trying to protect its customers the LEC says that’s not the case. Instead, Verizon says that it wants to put the order on hold until the appeals court reviews the case.

The LEC claims that the RIAA is trying to make an example of this particular user and is testing out a new law designed to protect copyrighted material. The legislation, called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, allows companies to request a subpoena for information on possible copyright infringements.

This case raises many issues about the rights of users on the Internet and the rights of copyright owners of songs or movies. This could be the first of many, many steps to rid the Internet of music and videos that are illegally distributed. But many believe this is impossible.

And where does the onus fall? Shouldn’t the entertainment companies make changes to their CDs and DVDs that make it impossible to copy and distribute them on the Internet? Or maybe we’re all working within an honor system.

This isn’t a new problem on the Internet. In fact, this is an old problem in general. Bootlegged copies of new movies are sold on the streets of New York City only days after release. The same is true with CDs. And even Kate Spade purses, for that matter.

But what’s the best way to deal with the problem on the Internet? Drop us a line with your ideas.