The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Oct. 12 to consider the Recording Industry Assn. of America's argument that Internet service providers should disclose, without formal court proceedings, names of the

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Oct. 12 to consider the Recording Industry Assn. of America's argument that Internet service providers should disclose, without formal court proceedings, names of their users who share unauthorized music files.

The RIAA began serving Verizon Internet Services and other ISPs with "information" subpoenas in 2002 under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The lobby group sought the identities of subscribers suspected of sharing unauthorized music files. Verizon challenged the subpoenas in court.

The high court's refusal to review the case effectively prevents copyright owners from obtaining the names of peer-to-peer users to possibly settle potential lawsuits before resorting to litigation in the D.C. Circuit. Courts in the other 11 circuits may or may not follow the court's decision.