NYTimes.com Article: Verizon Ordered to Give Identity of Net Subscriber

Gordon Mohr gojomo@usa.net
Wed, 22 Jan 2003 17:18:41 -0800


> OK, what's this shortcut they're talking about? Anyone know this supposed law? 

>From the article:
> The 1998 law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,
> provided copyright holders the ability to circumvent the
> normal judicial process in pursuing violators. But it also
> gave Internet service providers immunity from liability for
> copyright infringement on their networks in exchange for
> their cooperation in immediately removing infringing
> material once they were notified and in turning over
> subscriber information. 

More specifically, it's the expedited subpoena power given by section 
512(h) of the 1998 DMCA:

>From http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/hr2281_dmca_law_19981020_pl105-304.html

# `(h) SUBPOENA TO IDENTIFY INFRINGER-
# 
# `(1) REQUEST- A copyright owner or a person authorized to act on the owner's
# behalf may request the clerk of any United States district court to issue a
# subpoena to a service provider for identification of an alleged infringer in
# accordance with this subsection.
# 
# `(2) CONTENTS OF REQUEST- The request may be made by filing with the clerk--
# 
# `(A) a copy of a notification described in subsection (c)(3)(A);
# 
# `(B) a proposed subpoena; and
# 
# `(C) a sworn declaration to the effect that the purpose for which the subpoena
# is sought is to obtain the identity of an alleged infringer and that such
# information will only be used for the purpose of protecting rights under this
# title.
# 
# `(3) CONTENTS OF SUBPOENA- The subpoena shall authorize and order the service
# provider receiving the notification and the subpoena to expeditiously disclose
# to the copyright owner or person authorized by the copyright owner information
# sufficient to identify the alleged infringer of the material described in the
# notification to the extent such information is available to the service
# provider.
# 
# `(4) BASIS FOR GRANTING SUBPOENA- If the notification filed satisfies the
# provisions of subsection (c)(3)(A), the proposed subpoena is in proper form,
# and the accompanying declaration is properly executed, the clerk shall
# expeditiously issue and sign the proposed subpoena and return it to the
# requester for delivery to the service provider.
# 
# `(5) ACTIONS OF SERVICE PROVIDER RECEIVING SUBPOENA- Upon receipt of the issued
# subpoena, either accompanying or subsequent to the receipt of a notification
# described in subsection (c)(3)(A), the service provider shall expeditiously
# disclose to the copyright owner or person authorized by the copyright owner the
# information required by the subpoena, notwithstanding any other provision of
# law and regardless of whether the service provider responds to the
# notification.
# 
# `(6) RULES APPLICABLE TO SUBPOENA- Unless otherwise provided by this section or
# by applicable rules of the court, the procedure for issuance and delivery of
# the subpoena, and the remedies for noncompliance with the subpoena, shall be
# governed to the greatest extent practicable by those provisions of the Federal
# Rules of Civil Procedure governing the issuance, service, and enforcement of a
# subpoena duces tecum.

- Gordon