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Verizon ISP Resists RIAA... for Now.

| Posted: Oct 5, 2002 3:39 am

Popular U.S. Telecommunications service and Internet Service Provider, Verizon, has resisted a recent RIAA demand to bypass the courts and obtain user information directly from the ISP. The RIAA's plan was to "identify alleged music pirates"... I figure this would be an attempt at a tag n' bag sort of thing. Verizon's reasoning: "it could turn Internet providers into a turnstile for piracy suits and put innocent customers at risk."


Music companies tried to persuade a judge Friday to let them obtain names of Internet file-swappers without going to court first, a move that could dictate how copyright holders deal with Internet piracy in the future.


''Wouldn't that be a lot easier way to let people know that they are in fact not anonymous and there could be consequences?'' asked Cary Sherman, RIAA's general counsel.


Verizon said that since the hundreds of songs up for trade by the anonymous Verizon customer at the center of the case sit on the person's computer rather than Verizon's network, it is not required to automatically give up the subscriber's name.


''Verizon was a passive conduit at most,'' said Eric Holder, a former Justice Department prosecutor who represented Verizon. Holder said the music industry's strategy could create a contentious relationship between Verizon and its customers and put the Internet provider in the position of handing over names to the music companies without a judicial determination of piracy.

More information @ Silicon Valley


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