the RIAA are not doing a good thing. here's the linkyahoo news article
poltician are also just humans, that is good and sharing thoughts openly in politics is also as same important as in everydaylife or probably more? - that is good...
just the article with some emerged interesting facts...
Use of Subpoenas to Name File Sharers Criticized
Tue Sep 30, 7:22 AM ET Add Technology - washingtonpost.com to My Yahoo!
By Frank Ahrens, Washington Post Staff Writer
The music industry's ability to use subpoenas to learn the names of people who allegedly pirate songs over the Internet is coming under increasing fire from civil liberties groups and members of Congress concerned at how the power is being employed to launch a broad legal attack on file sharing.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (news - web sites) of 1998 gives copyright holders wide latitude to demand that Internet service providers turn over the names and addresses of people suspected of illegally trading song files.
Over the summer, lawyers for the music industry -- under the umbrella of its trade group, the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA) -- used that power to serve more than 1,500 "information subpoenas" on phone and cable companies and other Internet providers in an attempt to learn who owned the Internet accounts belonging to the users of file-sharing services.
With that information, the industry filed lawsuits against 261 people on Sept. 8, and it has promised thousands more suits are coming.
The music industry said it needed to take the action to slow the free sharing of digital music over the Internet, a trend it blames for a 31 percent slump in sales over the past three years. But the industry's aggressive use of the subpoenas has drawn the ire of Internet service providers, which believe it violates their customers' privacy, and some lawmakers, who blanche at seeing children and grandparents getting sued by powerful commercial interests. A Senate hearing on the subject is scheduled for today.
Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) asked a federal court to quash one of the RIAA's subpoenas that would force Boston College to hand over the name of a female senior whom the RIAA suspects of pirating songs.
The ACLU calls the information subpoena unconstitutional, saying it violates due process, and filed the motion to quash on behalf of student "Jane Doe."
For others, the RIAA suits look heavy-handed.
"The bottom line is, there has got to be a better way" than mass-suing file sharers, said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who will chair a hearing today of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, featuring testimony from Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, and new RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol, in his first high-profile public appearance.
Coleman noted that copyright law allows for fines as high as $150,000 per violation, or, essentially, per traded song or movie file, and that defendants in the suits may not have known that friends or children were using their computers.
The RIAA withdrew one suit after the target said her computer did not run the right software for file sharing. But the industry said it had settled 64 other suits. In an interview last week, RIAA President Cary Sherman said the settlements are averaging about $3,000 per defendant.
"I come back to basic concerns about how the industry is making an example of a few people using broad power that is essentially unregulated," said Coleman, who added that his 17-year-old son traded songs online until Coleman told him to stop. "It puts people in fear of draconian penalties to settle up on something they may or may not have done." [i]hehehe... his son shares also, it does not surprises me...
Verizon Communications Inc., the nation's largest phone company, was at the table when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was drawn up and the information subpoena agreed upon.
But Verizon had second thoughts about the provision earlier this year and said it would not hand over its customers' names to the RIAA. In April, the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled against Verizon, saying it must comply with the federal law. Verizon has appealed the decision, which is being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.
"In hindsight, it was a mistake to agree to it," said Sarah B. Deutsch, Verizon's associate general counsel. "We thought it would be rarely used."
The information subpoena does not require a judge's order but merely a clerk's stamp and a small payment. For a time this summer, the RIAA turned a small office at the U.S. District Court on Constitution Avenue into a subpoena factory, as clerks were brought in from adjacent offices to keep up with the association's appetite.
[color=blue]Deutsch called the information-subpoena provision "a dangerous and vague loophole" that Internet pornographers and cyberstalkers could use to violate customers' privacy[/COLOR]. Verizon is working with lawmakers in an attempt to overturn the provision; earlier this month, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) introduced a bill that would ban the RIAA's use of information subpoenas to find music pirates.
"Bringing a few targeted enforcement cases was not enough for them," Deutsch said. "They wanted the right to get everyone's name and go on a blitzkrieg approach to enforcement." english word blitkrieg?
Sherman said the RIAA will fight to keep the provision in the federal law.
"We think that taking away the information-subpoena process is basically giving people the right to infringe with impunity," said Sherman, who once worked for Verizon as an information technology lawyer.
Sherman also hinted that settlements in the next wave of lawsuits could be higher than $3,000 each, because "the notion that 'Oh, I didn't know this was illegal' is less and less true," thanks to the onslaught of press coverage of the Sept. 8 suits.
thanks anyway, david.