Music Industry Targets Net Swappers

Thanks Dawson for this one.. Music companies tried to persuade a judge Friday to let them obtain the names of people suspected of trading music files online without going to court first, a move that could dictate how copyright holders deal with Internet piracy in the future.

Internet service provider Verizon is resisting the music industry's subpoena, saying that it could turn Internet providers into a turnstile for piracy suits and put innocent customers at risk.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, who heard the case, lamented ambiguities in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was enacted to uphold copyright laws on the Internet while shielding technology companies from direct liability.

Congress "could have made this statute clearer," Bates said. "This statute is not organized as being consistent with the argument for either side."

Bates said he would try to rule quickly, but lawyers for both sides had no guess of when a decision might arrive.

The subpoena hearing, which is normally a tame affair, was contentious because the music industry sees it as a test case. If it succeeds, it plans to send reams of cease-and-desist letters to scare file-swappers into taking their collections offline.

News source: Yahoo News (for rest of article)

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