For media groups, the war on piratcy is one that will never be won, but there are battles that can be fought and contested and one of the ones they like fight the most, is send letters out to allegedly infringing internet users demanding money. However, they can’t do that without the details linked to certain IP addresses, which is why ISPs usually get roped into the mess. That may not always be the case though, as a judge in Georgia, USA, has ruled that a local ISP doesn’t have to hand over information on its customers.
The group that’s been denied in this instance is Rightscorp, a company that’s well known for sending out extortive letters to internet users that it claims downloaded content illegally. It, along with many others has been using DMCA subpoenas for a while now, to have local and small time ISPs give out information on their customers. As TorrentFreak explains, this is a sneaky practice as it often bypasses the court room, but still manages to put the scare into ISPs, often leading to their compliance.
Except not in the case of small time internet provider CBeyond (also known by its parent company, Birch) which challenged the subpoenda, claiming that Rightscorp was trying to mislead the court with an attempt to fish out pirates, rather than chasing them with any real evidence. On top of that, it highlighted how the DMCA subpoena is supposed to allow for the quick removal of infringing content online, not the identification of pirates.
Federal judge Janet King agreed and said that it was down to congress and not the courts or groups likes RightsCorp, to attempt to rewrite what legislation was designed for. However she did deny CBeyond’s attempt to sanction RightsCorp for its practices.
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KitGuru Says: If you live in Georgia, I know where you should be buying your internet access from.