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