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Verizon Loses Suit Over Subpoena of Subscriber Info

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the riaa-now-knows-if-you're-a-dog dept.

Privacy 670

Brian Golden writes "As a result of a suit filed by the RIAA, the identity of a Verizon customer with a penchant for mp3's was ordered to be released. Man, how many people are now sweating bullets trying to remember what they downloaded?" News.com.com also has a story. If you've forgotten about this case, see our earlier story. Verizon wasn't making any sort of principled stand to protect its users' privacy, it just wanted to avoid the costs of complying with the (many) subpoenas it will now receive.

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670 comments

too easy... (4, Funny)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129511)

It wasnt me, it was my brother/son/wife/cousin/neighbor/someone-using-my- WAP

Re:too easy... (2, Insightful)

yohaas (228469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129519)

Not exactly, once they get a hold of your computer, they can figure it all out.

Re:too easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129537)

Unless you're keeping all your music on an encrypted volume :)

See: http://www.softwinter.com/

Re:too easy... (2, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129588)

But who is to say it was you using that computer? It is exactly like those automated speeding ticket cameras, just tell them someone else was driving (unless they were smart enough to take a picture of the driver, which very few of the systems do).

Oh, yeah... FP!

Re:too easy... (4, Insightful)

jdreed1024 (443938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129624)

It is exactly like those automated speeding ticket cameras, just tell them someone else was driving

Uh, no. In most places, if you lend someone your car, and they get a ticket, you're responsible. You should carefully consider who you're lending you're car to.

Now, if you report your car as stolen (and it actually was stolen), and itshows up on one of those speed cameras, then yes, you can probably get out of the ticket, but not if you just lent it to your lead-foot friend.

Re:too easy... (2, Informative)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129700)

In Canada anyways, Ontario long ago gave up the idea of photo-radar because the tickets never held up and basically everyone contested them.

Re:too easy... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129641)

Thank you for bringing a 3rd grader's view of law into this discussion.

Re:too easy... (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129605)

tell it to the judge, you're going to court and will have to foot the bill for the expenses.

Sure you may get off, but it will be 25,000 dollars later.

More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (-1, Offtopic)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129517)

More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed worldwide each year. For no reason.

Pork is an unhealthy food source. Most people who eat pork also have access to other, non-meat foods.

Pigs are some of the most intelligent beings on our planet. Why do we kill them by the billions? Just to enjoy the transient pleasure of tasting their flesh?

Re:More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129544)

mmm porky goodness!

Re:More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (0, Offtopic)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129545)

The sad thing is none of those slaughtered pigs work for the RIAA.

Re:More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129556)

Pigs are certainly more intelligent than you! Lets start eating trolls instead!

Trolls! The other white meat!

Re:More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129564)

>Just to enjoy the transient pleasure of tasting their flesh?

Yes.

Mmmmmm. bacon.

Re:More than 1.1 billion pigs are killed each year (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129620)

But what about the GOATS [goatse.cx]?!!!

Won't anyone think of the kids?!!

Idiot moderators! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129702)

Can't you tell a GOAT from a TROLL?!!!

(Hint, one hides under bridges and the other tries to walk across them!)

man I cant understand this. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129520)

nope i sure dont.

First Lawsuit! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129521)

Woot

These things are going to continue. (3, Interesting)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129533)

The power's concentrated in the hands of the copyright holders, who have the money and the control. The DMCA was passed because they wanted it; the Verizon motion was decided this way because they wanted it...
http://www.geocities.com/digitalmilleniumla w/

Re:These things are going to continue. (2, Insightful)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129682)

It seems lately that the laws passed in the USA are only passed because they benefit the small minority of rich assholes who run everything.

Damn the man.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129539)

Just delete the logs daily or even hourly.

Then you don't have anything to turn over. Of course, then you can't charge customers extra for bandwidth, but you can't win everything....

The cost is complying with the request (2, Insightful)

yppiz (574466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129623)

Even if Verizon deletes the logs every day, the subpoena (request) can force them to retain the logs as evidence.

This is the real cost to the ISP. Dealing with each of these requests, changing their log scripts, and handing over the data.

If the subpoena is particularly broad and the ISP is large, a subpoena can mean keeping gigabytes of data that the ISP would normally send to /dev/null.

--Pat

Re:The cost is complying with the request (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129713)

> If the subpoena is particularly broad and the ISP is large, a subpoena can mean keeping gigabytes of data that the ISP would normally send to /dev/null.

If I were the ISP, I'd comply with any request RIAA gave me for customer logs. I'd send 'em every byte every customer transmitted or received.

I mean, what else am I gonna do with the half-dozen old line printers I found in the basement? :-)

Simple Solution for ISPs (2, Insightful)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129540)

Stop keeping logs of users. Just issue DHCP at random and be done with it.

Can't do that (2, Interesting)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129553)

What if someone launches a large scale DDoS attach from their netblock? You'd think they'd like to be aware of it...

Re:Simple Solution for ISPs (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129608)

> Stop keeping logs of users. Just issue DHCP at random and be done with it.

Won't work, at least not without one hell of a tradeoff. If you still wanna be able to LART Joe Luzer for running the open SOCKS proxy through which you got spammed or DDoSed, RIAA has to be able to LART Joe Musicfan for running the Gnutella note through which they downloaded HilaryRosenIsABigFatBitch.mp3

If ISPs could blocked outbound port 25 traffic from residential cablemodem and DSL users, that'd greatly cut down the amount of spam the rest of the 'net has to deal with, but logs would still have to be kept with regards to DDoS issues.

cash money (2, Funny)

Ptahian (113302) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129542)


Finally the money to RIAA will really start rolling in. If they can just put a few more of
their custom^H^H^H pirates in jail it'll be good times for artis^H^H^H shareholders.

http://www.boycott-riaa.com/

Re:cash money (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129730)

Finally the money to RIAA will really start rolling in. If they can just put a few more of their custom^H^H^H pirates in jail it'll be good times for artis^H^H^H shareholders.

This reminds me of a parody of Spiro Agnew run in the strip Pogo ages ago. A hyena bearing a strong likness to Agnew was locking up all the dangerous characters, anyone remotely suspicious. As a result everyone ended up in his jail.

Too bad Walt Kelly isn't around anymore, he could have had a field day with so many of these situations. Of course, the stress of deciding which to parody might have been too much for him anyway.

Irony isn't dead, it's just waiting for the right person to expose our own folly effectively enough to catch our attention.

Come on! (2, Insightful)

gmajor (514414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129547)

This guy downloaded over 600 songs in a day! If and only if this behavior was not limited to a single day, then it is obvious this guy was pirating music. He took music without paying for it, plain and simple.

Of course, if he owned the CDs, that is a different story, but the probability of the guy (it has to be a guy!) owning those CDs just isn't there.

Re:Come on! (1)

imcclure (630440) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129587)

600 songs a day is a bit excessive. I can't hardly think of five songs a day I want to download.

Re:Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129667)

According to my calculations, given an average 3-minute song, you could only listen to 480 songs a day! Take out eight hours to sleep, you have 320 songs a day!

Obviously this guy wasn't downloading these for his own personal use, he must have been PIRATING them!

Re:Come on! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129658)

I don't think it is clear that the person had downloaded 600 song files in a day.

The version of the story on MSNBC states that the person was sharing more than 600 song files.

I'd expect the MSNBC story may be more correct since it would be easier to tell that a user was sharing a large number of files instead of telling how many they downloaded.

Unless of course the user happened to download them all from the same RIAA honeypot in which case he might have a defense that they were publically available for download just as a page on a HTTP server is publically available. After all if he downloaded the songs from the RIAA and that is how the found out he downloaded 600 file then they be at fault for sharing them in the first place.

Of course IANAL and that is just my 2 cents worth.

As far as taking the music without paying for it anyone can do that over the radio and in any case I don't recall the RIAA giveing me any sort of recompense for attempting to take my fair use rights.

That's nothing (0, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129733)

Sadly, the average broadband dorm-dwelling college student could, if s/he had enough storage space, download 600 songs in 20 seconds.

Just imagine what they could get in an hour of work.

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for many college students to have hundreds of GigaBytes of MP3 songs that they did not pay for. It's all too confusing, and most students don't even understand what they're doing is wrong.

I help with freshman arrival and computer orientation for them, and 90% of them have a first question of "How do I download MP3s?".

Obscure.. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129549)


Rename all your shared P2P ZIPs/ISOs/RARs/etc to "filename-ext.mp3" and let the RIAA wade throught the flood of "mp3" files.

Re:Obscure.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129581)

Not a bad idea.

What about making a new yahoo account
and a new hotmail account, and mailing
fairly big files between them with mp3
extension ? How big -- um, 2.something megs ?

Just for fun, and to help fill their logs
with mp3 "information".

Re:Obscure.. (1)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129646)

Better yet, how about a file format where it basically just adds a header containing the real file name, while using a fake name like "F*&K the RIAA.mp3", so when snooping, they see thousands and songs by that title being swapped, meanwhile the real name is just hidden in the file header...

Re:Obscure.. (0)

utdpenguin (413984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129734)

So how would you know what you were downloading? If you can figure it out, so can they. If you can't, then its worthless

sky.isFalling() = True (5, Funny)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129559)

Let me get this straight.

We now live in a world where anonymity no longer exists, we have to pay for music, and an ugly 18 year old Canadian chick is at the top of the US music charts?

I need a Tums...

Re:sky.isFalling() = True (1)

imcclure (630440) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129637)

Which ugly Canadian are you referring to, there's so many to choose from. Either that, or I just can't keep up with popcrap anymore.

Re:sky.isFalling() = True (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129661)

Please explain why anonymity should be a guaranteed means of avoiding persecution. Should all crimes committed though the internet be unpunishable? Just because you don't agree with the laws in question is not a reason to claim that the internet should be a place for actions without consequences. What if instead of MP3s this guy was suspected of transferring 6000 kiddy porn images?

It just goes to show (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129562)

It just goes to show, you should register your domain offshore, in some bohemian backwater which refuses to cooperate with US courts.

That applies to all other forms or needs of business as well.

"We shall strangle them with our laws!"

"But won't that hurt us as well, I mean we're all part of the world economy..."

"Ha ha! Then we shall strangle ourselves with our own laws first, to show them we mean business!"

this is not good... (5, Insightful)

joebeone (620917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129567)

This means that the (MP|RI)AA can serve as many goddamn subpoenas as they want and the ISP's lawyers will advise them to comply in light of this decision. The next logical step is for the (MP|RI)AA to serve cease and desist letters to individuals... then lawsuits will result if they don't comply.

Many people involved in this will agree that it's probably time for the (MP|RI)AA to start working on consumer dis-satisfaction... if they start to sue individuals, things will get very bad.

Re:this is not good... (4, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129712)


What bad? The RIAA SHOULD be suing individuals for violating copyright by trafficking MP3's.

The individuals are ultimately the ones responsible. ISPs, P2P services, etc., are merely conduits.

This is complete and total bullshit (1)

stev3 (640425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129570)

I mean, come one RIAA!

You're infringing on our rights now. I can't wait till there's a supreme court case against the RIAA and they get their assess sued off and can't survive any longer.

This is also just a stupid marketing ploy. Just wait until tonite and tomorrow all of the major TV stations and radio will be talking this all up.

riaaPublicity++

That'll show him (1, Troll)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129573)

Serves him right, that loser downloaded Justin Timberlake's new CD. Can't do that without SOME kind of repercussions, and it's either the RIAA or Satan, right? I say choose the lesser evil.

Re:That'll show him (2, Funny)

tsetem (59788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129645)

So why is Microsoft entering the argument? Are they getting into Broadband now?

Re:That'll show him (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129649)

Serves him right, that loser downloaded Justin Timberlake's new CD. Can't do that without SOME kind of repercussions, and it's either the RIAA or Satan, right? I say choose the lesser evil.

I completely agree, but he didn't get the lesser of the two.

Court Opinion (4, Informative)

Jim Tyre (100017) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129574)

The Court's Opinion is here [uscourts.gov].


MEMORANDUM OPINION

The Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA") has moved to enforce a subpoena served on Verizon Internet Services ("Verizon") under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ("DMCA" or "Act"), 17 U.S.C. 512. On behalf of copyright owners, RIAA seeks the identity of an anonymous user of Verizon's service who is alleged to have infringed copyrights with respect to more than 600 songs downloaded from the Internet in a single day. The copyright owners (and thus RIAA) can discern the Internet Protocol address, but not the identity, of the alleged infringer -- only the service provider can identify the user. Verizon argues that the subpoena relates to material transmitted over Verizon's network, not stored on it, and thus falls outside the scope of the subpoena power authorized in the DMCA. RIAA counters that the subpoena power under section 512(h) of the DMCA applies to all Internet service providers, including Verizon, whether the infringing material is stored on or simply transmitted over the service provider's network.


The case thus presents a core issue of statutory interpretation relating to the scope of the subpoena authority under the DMCA. The parties, and several amici curiae, agree that this is an issue of first impression of great importance to the application of copyright law to the Internet. Indeed, they concede that this case is presented as a test case on the DMCA subpoena power.Based on the language and structure of the statute, as confirmed by the purpose and history of the legislation, the Court concludes that the subpoena power in 17 U.S.C. 512(h) applies to all Internet service providers within the scope of the DMCA, not just to those service providers storing information on a system or network at the direction of a user. Therefore, the Court grants RIAA's motion to enforce, and orders Verizon to comply with the properly issued and supported subpoena from RIAA seeking the identity of the alleged infringer.

....

From the article: (4, Interesting)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129582)

The recording industry asked Verizon last summer to reveal the name of a customer believed to have downloaded more than 600 songs in one day, but Verizon refused

(Emph mine.) So just based on the fact that the customer might have downloaded [any number] of songs, they have convinced the federal government to step in and force Verizon to release information to a group of record companies? This is revolting.

IM not worried. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129583)

My ISP is too dumb to know who had was doing what. They cant even tell me if my connection is working properly. I dont expect that they will be able to know what I downloaded

Why does the reason they did it matter? (1)

djwavelength (398555) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129586)

Why does it matter whether it was some principle or some cost cutting measure? I would think they would fight more to save some money than to uphold some code of ethics.

Sooo.... (4, Interesting)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129589)

Ok.

What happens if, say, I have my MP3 collection on my computer at home. I get permission to temporarily use the storage at work while doing a reformat of my computer. When I download all the files back to my computer at home, is the RIAA going to come knocking?

Two choices: encrypt the entire collection or re-rip from CD. I don't know which would take longer.

Dump Verizon (1)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129591)

...and all other ISP's that treat customers similarly. They were worried about dealing with possibly hundreds of suits, but what of the potential loss of thousands of customers? Might that threaten their bottom line? If service companies won't stand up for their customers against the RIAA nazis, then they aren't worth paying monthly fees to.

Then again, this looks like a publicity stunt by the RIAA et. al. Keep pissing people off, and see what happens.

Cops not amused at drunk hacker's smiley [xnewswire.com] Weird News

Re:Dump Verizon (3, Insightful)

micromoog (206608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129627)

What's your complaint with Verizon? They did stand up against the RIAA . . . but lost.

Re: Dump Verizon (1)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129666)

Did they fight hard enough? Did they take it to appeal? It doesn't look like the answer to either question is 'yes'.

Re:Dump Verizon (2, Insightful)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129648)

whoa! back up a second!

Verizon was trying to stand up for one of their customers! The fact that they stood up to the RIAA is respectable itself. I'd rather boycott the ISPs which say "here's the info you requested, Ms Rosen."

Of course, I think Verizon is gonna appeal this, meaning that whatever John Doe is wanted by the RIAA is safe for just a little longer.

Or we could always .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129692)

rename all the linux rpms to mp3's and download whole distributions at a time.

I'm currently downloading the latest redhat beta - all 2 Gb of it on verizon dsl. Could be great fun to break it up into several megabyte chunks, rename them all to be "justin-n-celine.mp3" and the like, and see what happens.

Just cuz a file is named "mp3" doesn't mean it is one and just cuz it isnt named "mp3" doesnt mean it isnt one.

Re:Dump Verizon (0)

utdpenguin (413984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129668)

Brilliant plan.

Tell you what: Go find my a dsl or cable provider who gives a crap about customer privacy and we can all switch to them. Oh wait, thats right. They are in it to make a buck! And the easiest way to do that is not get involved in idealistic claptrap.

So let me know when you find our elusive ISP. Until you can revert to dialup, or abide by the law.

Re:Dump Verizon (1)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129704)

It's your lucky day! My isp ia a member-owned cooperative. WE own OUR isp. Yup, got DSL, too. Any profits we split.

Sweet, ain't it?

Re:Dump Verizon (1)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129684)

Erm...Verizon did stand up for its users against the RIAA. The court told them they have to comply. If they didn't, the court would punish them in some way that would make it prohibitive to continue protecting their users.

In other words, don't blame Verizon. Blame the judge that made this decision.

Confidential (0, Flamebait)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129594)

Wow what's next, the RIAA getting medical records, dental records, getting lawyers to violate client confidentiality, or even your psychiatrist? You know, if I ever meet someone somewhere, when asked what they do, and they respond they work for the RIAA, I will proceed to kick the ever living crap out of them. I hate these guys. Why cant their be accidental shootings of RIAA employees instead of children, except not be accidental and happen more often. I mean they are in LA after all...

Now I wonder (1)

Achmed Swaribabu (642441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129596)

How long before people start to leave the United States for countires with more liberal policies towards human freedoms?

I think that is the next step after civil disobedience which most Americans seem to apathetic to turn to. I think when peoples start to leave the country by the thousand then maybe the country will get the message.

In the meantime the un-competetive nature of American workers (as a whole, price too much, work too little) make it easy for others like me to make a good living.

Re:Now I wonder (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129659)

How long before people start to leave the United States for countires with more liberal policies towards human freedoms?
Americans have been properly conditioned for over two decades to know that liberal = evil, baby-killing, commies. Also, as every red-blooded American patriot knows, America is the freest, best country that will ever exist.

USA, USA, USA!!!

Re:Now I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129679)

Listen here, towelhead, take you and your hippie opinions back to Canada or Pakistan, or whereever the hell you came from. We don't need your kind here -- if you don't like it, please fucking leave, it'll be better for the rest of us.

Re:Now I wonder (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129693)

Many medical cannabis (marijuana) users and others sympathetic to that cause are increasingly leaving the States for Canada, etc.

See following activism sites for more details regarding cannabis/drug policy related issues:

http://www.cannabisnews.com/
http://www.drugsen se.org/
http://www.drcnet.org/

This could be good? (2, Interesting)

jaylen (59655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129599)

Um, is this not a good thing?

This might end up pushing more people off Kazaa and onto more secure/private P2P's like Gnutella, etc?

Just a thought.

_____
jaylen

not surprising (4, Interesting)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129600)

I'm sure none of us are shocked. But we shouldn't necessarily be outraged either. Remember, a subpoena is how a court obtains information for deciding a case.

Historically, the only way to avoid subpoenii has been to demonstrate that the information in question must remain secret for reasons of national security. This is, to put it lightly, a special case reserved for the President and other state officials.

We're not talking about the RIAA having access to your mp3 playlists, we're talking about giving the court the data it needs to make an informed and just decision.

Where's Johnny Cochrane and the Chewbacca Defense (5, Funny)

snowpuppy (153096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129602)

Johnny Cochrane: It does not make sense. Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and Gentlemen I'm am not making any sense. None of this makes sense. And so you have to remember when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No. Ladies and Gentlemen of this deposed jury it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit. The defense rests.

Scapegoat? (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129603)

Does the RIAA have the power to hamstring this guy now? Turn him into an example? The Reuters article was a little short on information. I'd like to see a followup on this.

It's nice to see a company stand up against these dicks, even if it is one of my employer's competitors. ;)

RIAA = new nazi (2, Interesting)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129609)

Jeez.. come on, you think they are going to go after your little brother for downloading Weird Al recordings?
hrm.. maybe they will...
But I doubt it. However, they are using tactics like these to scare people, and it is working (the comment about sweating in the main post) and that is ridiculous.
We need a good encrypted filesharing app, with each box running it using a PGP key which is publically available *offshore* somewhere.. This could all be automated of course.
grumble

The two are entirely unconnected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129610)

Chris Rhea...

Diarrhea...

Chris Rhea...

Diarrhea...

And again.

Chris Rhea...

Diarrhea...

An idea (3, Interesting)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129613)

A federal judge ordered Verizon Communications Tuesday to turn over the name of a customer suspected of downloading songs over the Internet, handing a victory to recording companies in their fight against online piracy.

But what if I start my own ISP and the database of customer records is indexed without any information that would be able to identify the person or phone line that's dialing in to use our Web access services?

Any payment information would be done with cash only and written on pencil and paper kept in a lockbox or safe of some sort so that no matter what a court rules, my customers remain anonymous.

Is this feasible?

Hmm the new.com article (2, Insightful)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129614)

Mentions that John Doe was accused of sharing over 600 files. I guess that would make a little more sense for them to go after him. I can't imagine that trying to go after everyone who has downloaded mp3's would be economically feasible. Especially since they would have to 1) prove that the downloader didn't own the cd, 2) prove that the mp3 was actually a copywritten song (it could easily be a homework assignment with an odd filename. Those are two hurdles off of the top of my head that would probably throw a wrench into any attempt to prosecute. Likely this is more of an RIAA bid to scare ISP's into trying to crack down on use of P2P apps over their networks.

Re:Hmm the new.com article (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129654)

What if John Doe didn't know he was sharing them?
example:
Left a port open,
someone else had compromised his machine,
a software product didn't install correctly, etc...

wholey shit. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129617)

We're all screwed.

OK, then, time for Freenet (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129625)

Either that, or let's start a class-action lawsuit against the RIAA for unauthorized wiretaps. Are there any tech-savvy lawyers out there? There has to be something we can all sue them for. Two can play at this game.

Solution...maybe? (1)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129633)

Can this guy just go out and buy all the CD's he had downloaded the songs from and claim that he did not know how to rip the CD's into MP3's...so instead he downloaded them?

How do they know he *downloaded* 600 songs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129635)

Does a Kazaa server keep logs for the RIAA to look at? Then how can they accuse him of downloading the songs?

As hard as it is to swallow... (5, Insightful)

goingincirclez (639915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129664)

Rip. Mix. Burn.

Has been superceded by

Track. Subpoena. Litigate.

Which had damn well better begotten by

Boycott. RIAA. NOW.

The ONLY way to get them to shut the hell up and off our backs, is to make sure their sales suck long after file-trading has been smacked-down.

Would you like me to bend over further Mr. Exec? (1)

SoVeryWrong (576783) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129669)

It's not enough that they're screwing us with album prices. Now they're going to make ISPs hire more people so they can support one-offs on people moving pirated music over the internet, which means my ISP bill will probably raise to compensate for it.

I know they just wanted that one guy who downloaded 600 songs in a day, but c'mon, once they sue and jail all the big downloaders, they'll go after the little girls downloading singles off of Kazaa. (or whatever crap-ass P2P app is popular at the time)

Time for a cash only ISP (2, Interesting)

crstophr (529410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129671)

I propose a cash only, recordless DSL ISP. In our customer agreement we specifically state that people may pay by cash, or money order, and even if they do pay with credit cards, no records will be kept, beyond, payment received for modem #12345. No customer names are ever to be kept. Why do I care what your name is, all that matters to me is that you pay your bill, all that matters to you is that your DSL modem works. For obvious reasons, no outgoing port 25 traffic allowed, otherwise this could be spammer heaven. Customers would have to submit payment along with the uniq number identifying thier DSL modem. That keeps the modem on for another month. Once the transaction is verified, no records are retained, and we never link IP address to DSL modem. Maybe we implement a daily rotating DHCPd IP scheme for good measure. Supeona my business records? sure, here's 100000 cash receipt stubs with no names, have a ball.

Self destruct methods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129680)

So suppose the black helicopters land on my front lawn and the feds/RIAA/MPAA start breaking down my door? Is there an instant method for wiping all my disks (assume I've got secret off-site backups)? Thermite bomb on top of the CPU? Other ideas? You've got to figure that you'll only get seconds of warning at best...

User in question is serving 600 songs? (1)

FunkBot (625810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129681)

600? That's it? When I was serving MP3s in IRC a few years back, there were some users serving over 10000 songs a piece.

Here's hoping they stay away from IRC... at least for a little while :P.

Also, here's a link to the full text of the Judge's ruling [riaa.com]. Feel free to Slashdot the RIAA site :D.

Re:User in question is serving 600 songs? (2, Funny)

SoVeryWrong (576783) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129708)

I doubt the RIAA knows what IRC is.
I think the only reason they know about P2P apps is because it was on 60 minutes.

use DMCA to get spammers (5, Insightful)

koehn (575405) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129686)

I guess this means I can use the DMCA to force ISPs to give me the IDs of people whose machines have sent me spam. Since there's no due process involved, nor (seemingly) any right to appeal (at least by the ISP, and there doesn't seem to be a provision for user to appeal), I should be able to find out who they are, where they live, and their phone number.

What happens then? Use your imagination.

But what's the DMCA violation with spamming? The spammer has bypassed the technological measures installed on my machine (spam filters) preventing me from copying (receiving) their spam. Remember, the courts don't review this, so I can get their personal info just by asking.

Here, spammer...

if you want to boycott the riaa (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129689)

I don't buy music often. I would like to know, and I'm sure many of you reading this board can help with this; is there a simple way to know if a particular artist is affiliated with the RIAA?

From the CNN article: (3, Insightful)

guido1 (108876) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129703)

The president of the RIAA says:
"The illegal distribution of music on the Internet is a serious issue for musicians, songwriters and other copyright owners, and the record companies have made great strides in addressing this problem by educating consumers and providing them with legitimate alternatives."

I am interested in legal methods of attaining high-quality, non restricted use .mp3s (or oggs), for relatively cheap (e.g. $.25 a track...) I have not been educated or informed of a legitimate alternative to peer networks.

Exactly what strides have they been making? What alteratives are they giving us?

Old rule of life... (4, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129706)

There's an old rule of life which states:
Never record anything you wouldn't want on the 6:00 news.


Anything you write down, record on tape, commit to a file on your computer, or store in any way other than in the meat between your ears can come back to haunt you.

Verizon should make sure they log as little as possible - keep IP to User ID logs for not more than a day, don't log ANY actions of your proxy servers, and so on.

Then, when the *AA comes and says "We need all your logs for the past week so we can find this pirate", Verizon can say "Here's all the logs we have - the last 23 hours. Cheers!"

If you absolutely feel you must have the possiblity of accessing logs older than that, then encrypt them with a public key. Let the private key be held by an individual in another country. If you need to access the logs, you mail the encrypted log to him, he decrypts it and sends it back.

Then if you are served, you give the logs to the nice officers, and then tell your friend that you have been served. Then, even if you want the logs decrypted, your friend won't.

Let them go to East Elbonia if they want the logs decrypted.

600 a day? (1)

jcsehak (559709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129717)

I don't see how that's possible. That means 25 songs an hour, which is like a song every two minutes. Assuming you've got a broadband connection with the bandwidth to download a song in 2 minutes, how do you go about finding someone else willing to serve it at that rate, every two minutes? And on top of that, wading through all the corrupted (some by RIAA) songs and dealing with servers that crap out, not to mention staying up all night (can you put 200 songs in your queue? will they all download?). I just don't see how it's possible. They might as well just say he was downloading a gajillion songs a day.

I wonder if things like this make people afraid to download songs from legal sources, like my own site. And what about things like Emuisc? Do they assume every mp3 is illegally gotten?

interesting (1)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129725)

While there are serious concerns that these subpeonas could be misused quite easily and simply by the good ol' RIAA, I wonder to myself--

Isn't this what "we" wanted?

I (and many others) have said in the past that we were ticked at the RIAA for praposing blanket clauses to prevent piracy, often resulting in the demolition of fair use. Often the war cry was something along the lines of "go after the pirates, not the technology" or "Don't introduce new draconian laws, use the ones available now (copyright infringement is a crime already)". Now they start doing this and I'm even more concerned/disgusted....

devil's advocate, I know...

----rhad

Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5129726)

"The illegal distribution of music on the Internet is a serious issue for musicians, songwriters and other copyright owners, and the record companies have made great strides in addressing this problem by educating consumers and providing them with legitimate alternatives."

Am I missing something? What alternative are they talking about? I thought after Napster was shutdown that Kazaa was the alternative.

Ownership (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5129728)

RIAASpeak:

"The illegal distribution of music on the Internet is a serious issue for musicians, songwriters and other copyright owners. . ."

The "other" copyright owners are the record companies. In fact, I'm sure the record companies are the only copyright owners most of the time--but it's a lot easier to stick up for the rights of a well-known (or not) musician, than it is to stick up for the rights of a faceless, multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Seriously--if artists owned any share of the copyright after their CD hit the market, do you think we'd see the flood of remade songs that are on the airwaves today?

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