• United States
by Ann Harrison

Verizon begs the judge

Feb 27, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsVerizon

* Latest twist in Verizon vs. RIAA case

The latest twist in the ongoing struggle between ISP Verizon and the Recording Industry Association of America, involves appeals to a U.S. District Court Judge John Bates.

Judge Bates last month ordered Verizon to turn over to the RIAA the name of a customer who allegedly downloaded more than 600 music files from the Internet.

Verizon asked Judge Bates to suspend the order while it appeals the decision. The ISP is trying to take the decision to a higher court and is arguing that if it is forced to turn over the name now, an appeal would be moot.

RIAA lawyers say Verizon’s argument lacks strength because the ISP had contended earlier that the recording industry should not be allowed to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to pry loose this information. Verizon argued that the RIAA should instead be forced to sue each alleged copyright violator. If Verizon is forced to reveal the user’s name in this case, the DMCA could be used to round up groups of people whom copyright owners allege are violating their rights.

Will Verizon halt the demand for the name before their case reaches the higher court? Will the RIAA convince the judge that Verizon should be forced to turn over the name without further delay? Will P2P users throughout the world be subject to mass prosecution as a result of a successful DMCA-based copyright cases? Stay tuned as the Verizon drama continues to unfold.