RIAAlity Check

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A federal court of appeals tells the Recording Industry Association of America that one of their arguments "borders upon the silly" in the course of ruling against the group's effort to subpoena ISPs for information on users accused of file-sharing. The full opinion is here [PDF]. The author of the opinion, by the by, is Chief Judge Ginsburg, a generally sympathetic fellow for whom Cato's Bob Levy and ex-Catoite James Swanson both clerked. (Via /.)

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  1. Ha! I just posted in my blog about how none of the news orgs were providing a direct link to the (easily-discoverable) ruling, and here the Reason shows itself a step above the rest by…um…spending two minutes to look up the link.

    Reading the ruling, it’s disappointing that the court didn’t consider Verizon’s constitutional issues with the DMCA, but good that they deemed the RIAA was overstepping its authority in searching for data merely transmitted over an ISP’s wire, and not stored on their servers. I imagine the RIAA will appeal, but I can’t see the Supremes overturning this – which means we’ll see an “enhancement” of this legislation come out of Congress. Looks like the constitutional battle is still a long ways off.

  2. Check out also the Dutch SC’s throwing out an attempt by a music copyright group to hold Kazaa liable for its’ users “piracy”.

    This probably means individual lawsuits are on their way to Europe.

    I hope it’s only a matter of time before lawmakers start realizing that the fact that enforcement involves invasion of privacy is a clue that our copyright laws are ridiculously overbroad.

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