Breaking down RIAA demands of swappers, ISPs.
By Tech Live staff
Beginning in late last June, the Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA) began filing hundreds of subpoenas demanding that Internet service providers disclose the names of subscribers who are "offering for download over the Internet files containing copyrighted sound recordings."
The subpoenas consist of three documents, shown below.
~A subpoena letter informing ISPs that a subscriber is suspected of illegal file sharing.
Warning to Internet Service Providers
Sample letter from RIAA's hired law firm to ISP.
~An attachment identifying the subscriber by IP address and his or her user name on a peer-to-peer file-sharing networking (such as KaZaA), a short list of "representative recordings" being shared and the date and time the files were being shared.Law Offices
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Los Angeles, California
June 27, 2003
Re: Notice of Copyright Infringement (17 U.S.C. § 512©(3)
Dear Sir or Madam:
* * * * * We are counsel to the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. ("RIAA") and its member record companies. The RIAA is a trade association whose member companies create, manufacture, and/or distribute approximately ninety percent (90%) of all legitimate sound recordings sold and distributed in the United States. Under penalty of perjury, we submit that we are authorized to act on behalf of the RIAA and its member companies in matters involving the online infringement of their copyrighted sound recordings.
* * * * * A user, customer, or subscriber of your system or network, identified by the IP address, date, and time on the attached document, is offering for download over the Internet files containing copyrighted material owned by RIAA member companies. The attached document also includes a representative list of the recordings the identified user is offering for download. We have a good faith belief that such activities are not authorized by the copyright owners, their agents, or the law, and assert that the information in the Notice of Copyright Infringement is accurate, based on the data available to us.
* * * * * Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please contact me at (310) 312-3297 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * * * * Sincerely,
* * * * * (Name Withheld)
* * * * * for Mitchell, Silberberg, Knupp LLP
Posted July 29, 2003
Fingering a Swapper
Sample outlining copyright infringement of file trader.
~A declaration outlining the legal authority for the subpoena and its purpose -- "to obtain the identity of the alleged copyright infringer."Attachment A
[IP address 00.00.00.00 on 6/26/2003 at 5:03:02 p.m. (EDT)]
The user at the above-identified IP address, using the screen name [user name] has offered for download through the online media distribution system known as KaZaA copyrighted sound recordings owned by RIAA member record companies, including the following representative recordings:
Michael Jackson -- Billie Jean
Linkin Park -- Crawling
Jennifer Lopez -- Feelin' So Good
LENNY KRAVITZ -- I Belong To You
Marvin Gaye -- Lets Get It On
Madonna -- Like a Virgin
Bon Jovi -- Never Say Goodbye
Busta Rhymes -- Pass the Courvoisier*
Posted July 29, 2003
The Legal Reasoning
Read a sample letter explaining legal grounds that's sent with RIAA subpoenas.
Posted July 29, 2003Declaration Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. sec. 512 (h)
I, [name], the undersigned, declare that:
1. I am an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California and am associated with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP ("MSK"), counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. ("RIAA") and its member record companies. MSK is authorized to act on behalf of the RIAA and its member companies on matters involving the infringement of their copyrighted and sound recordings. This declaration is made in support of the accompanying Subpoena, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. sec. 512(h)(2)©.
2. The purpose of the accompanying Subpoena is to obtain the identity of the alleged copyright infringer who is identified at the Internet location listed on Attachment A to the Subpoena. The information obtained will be used only for the purpose of protecting the rights granted to our clients under Title 17 of the United States Code.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed at Los Angeles, California, on Friday, June 27, 2003.
Editor's note: Linked copies of the documents have been edited only to remove specific personal information of those involved in the subpoena process.
Posted July 29, 2003
Modified August 29, 2003
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