A very small step for music-kind
On Friday, the D.C. federal appeals court ruled that the recording industry's efforts to subpoena the names and addresses of ISP Verizon's customers who were using P2P file-sharing networks to download and upload copyrighted music were unlawful. However, the decision rests on a narrow reading of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and likely will have little long-term impact on the file sharing debate.
In fact, at the same time the D.C. court was narrowing the ability to get discovery of anonymous users of the Internet, a court in Connecticut reinforced a private company's right to determine the identity of a person who anonymously criticized the company in e-mail.
The rulings both go to the core of that most cherished and reviled privilege of online life: anonymity.
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