TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Another Appeals Court Requires Net Music Suits

Another Appeals Court Requires Net Music Suits

(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 5 Jan 2005 10:23:56 EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Music-industry investigators must file a
lawsuit to uncover the identities of people who may be copying their
songs online, a U.S. appeals court said on Tuesday in a decision that
echoes earlier rulings on the subject.

Internet service providers like Charter Communications Inc. don't
have to turn over customers' names whenever they receive a request
from the Recording Industry Association of America the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said.

Instead, the RIAA must file an anonymous "John Doe" lawsuit to get the
names of suspected song-swappers, an extra step that Internet
providers say will discourage frivolous requests.

The decision will have little effect for the recording industry, which
began filing such lawsuits a year ago after an appeals court in
Washington reached a similar conclusion.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to examine that ruling in October.

Industry officials had hoped that the Eighth Circuit, which covers
much of the Midwest, would uphold the tactic and create an
inconsistent legal landscape that could force the Supreme Court to
take another look.

An RIAA spokesman said the decision would not deter the trade group's
legal campaign against copyright violators.

"We have successfully utilized the John Doe litigation process to sue
thousands of illegal file sharers, so our enforcement efforts will not
miss a beat," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.

RIAA members include privately held Warner Music Group, EMI Group Plc
and the music divisions of Sony Corp, Vivendi Universal and
Bertelsmann AG.

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