RIAA Wins Case Over John Doe Suits

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has sided with the RIAA in a case brought by Cablevision that challenged the music-industry trade group's "John Doe" lawsuits.

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has sided with the RIAA in a case brought by Cablevision that challenged the music-industry trade group's "John Doe" lawsuits.

Judge Denny Chin on July 26 denied a motion to quash a subpoena in Sony Music Entertainment Inc. et al v. Does 1-40 (case no. 04cv00473).

He ruled that Cablevision -- which provides broadband access in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey -- must continue to supply the RIAA with the identities of subscribers sued by the trade group for alleged peer-to-peer copyright infringement.

The RIAA subpoenaed Cablevision for the names in February; the ISP complied but brought the legal challenge.

Chin considered the First Amendment privacy defense -- the first time a judge has done so in examining these John Doe suits -- but found that the RIAA's claim of copyright infringement was enough to override First Amendment privacy protections.

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