|Federal Court of Appeals Protects Rights of File Swappers Via Their ISPs|
|Home Theater News Music - Download Technology News|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Friday, 19 December 2003|
The RIAA may have just hired the former head of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau (ATF) to continue to aggressively attack music piracy but today consumer’s rights to privacy were protected by a federal appeals court who struck down a ruling ordering internet service providers (ISPs) to identify users sharing files on the internet. Written by Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the decision was a legal win for Verizon and other Internet service providers.
A lower court had ruled that Verizon had to comply with a subpoena from the RIAA, seeking the identity of a subscriber to its Internet service who was downloading files via peer-to-peer services like the Gnutella network.
Now that consumers have legal options for downloading music, millions have flocked to the new Napster, Apple’s iTunes and other sites that charge per download. Congress is reportedly going to deal with the peer-to-peer file sharing on networks like Gnutella with new legislation in 2004. The court was sympathetic to the RIAA’s situation however they did not decide to allow the RIAA to get access to user’s web activity.