RIAA Subpoena Request Denied
For some time now, the RIAA has been obtaining subpoenas from federal courts that compel colleges and universities to disclose the identities of students associated with IP's that RIAA believes were used to download music. Having identified the students, the RIAA threatens litigation unless the students fork over a few thousand dollars. This heavy-handed approach to copyright enforcement hasn't inhibited illegal downloading, but it's created a nice cash machine for the RIAA and its lawyers.
A U.S. District Judge in Virginia tossed a judicial wrench into the machine on Thursday when he refused the RIAA's ex parte request for a subpoena. Judge Kelley's tightly-reasoned decision concludes that no law authorizes a court to order the disclosure. Do you suppose RIAA will cite his decision in its future ex parte requests for subpoenas?
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