Chilling Assault on P2P Networks

District Court Judge John Bates made a flawed interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) his January 21, 2003 ruling, because the allegedly infringing content never resided on the ISP’s servers.

CSE President Paul Beckner commented, “Citizens for a Sound Economy works for consumer rights and sound public policy. This court decision is neither pro-consumer nor reasonable public policy.

“Bate’s decision directly impacts millions of users of Peer-to-Peer technology (P2P). P2P networking holds great promise as a more efficient way to distribute and manage all kinds of information. It literally may be the next form of the Internet.

“Instead of embracing this new technology and creating market-based business models that will protect and benefit content creators, the RIAA instead wants to hunt down individual citizens who swap music online.

”Consumers have an expectation that an ISP will protect their identity. With this ruling, any copyright holder can demand to know the consumer’s identity without appropriate judicial oversight. That’s outrageous. We’re heading down the road to a litigation bonanza, where the RIAA can use the DMCA’s streamlined subpoena process to harass ISPs and consumers with millions of legal notices. That’s wrong, and the members of CSE are mobilizing to fight this attack on consumer rights.”


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