Verizon Challenges RIAA Subpoenas

As Congress intensifies its scrutiny of the special subpoenas that the recording industry is using to track down and sue people who share music over the Internet, a federal appeals court panel questioned today whether legislators had intended the subpoenas to be used in such a way.

But the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also had tough questions for Verizon, which is challenging the record industry's interpretation of a 1998 law that allows copyright holders to force Internet service providers to identify customers suspected of copyright infringement.

"You make a lot of money off of the piracy, don't you?" Judge John Roberts asked Verizon's lawyer, Andrew McBride, referring to the high-speed Internet connections favored by people who download music and video. "People engaged in that activity use the more expensive services that you offer."

"That is a canard," Mr. McBride replied, noting that the company makes money when consumers buy the legal music services it offers.

News source: New York Times

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