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Supreme Court Rejects RIAA Appeal 447

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-a-smart-one dept.
An anonymous reader submits "Recall that the RIAA originally used to directly send DMCA-laced supoenas to ISPs to obtain information about a P2P user. Then recall how Verizon and other providers balked saying the RIAA had to file John Doe suits first. It ultimately reached SCOTUS, with the RIAA appealing a decision that was in Verizon's favor. SCOTUS has declined to hear the case, effectively casting the Verizon opinion in stone. Wahoo! Part of DMCA shot down!"
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Supreme Court Rejects RIAA Appeal

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  • yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by delta_avi_delta (813412) <dave.murphy@gmail . c om> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:10PM (#10504557)
    And the Lord saw that it was good, and said, "w00t!"
    • Premature? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:20PM (#10504698) Homepage Journal
      SCOTUS has declined to hear the case, effectively casting the Verizon opinion in stone. Wahoo! Part of DMCA shot down!"

      Or is this simply until the RIAA frames their arguments differently. Those of us old enough and who read some history books in school remember the SCOTUS sometimes reversing decisions or simply throwing it back in the plaintiffs face and saying, "You didn't cross all your T's and dot all your I's, we'll be here if you'd like to have another go later on." The ball is merely in the RIAA's court while they choose another tack.

      For now, it's certainly good stuff, but be wary.

      • Re:Premature? (Score:5, Informative)

        by mefus (34481) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:42PM (#10504919) Journal
        Or is this simply until the RIAA frames their arguments differently.

        That's happening right now, but in the Legislative branch of the government. You probably already know this, but the **IA are pumping bills into Capitol Hill that are essentially restating proposed new law that was already shot down in the form of the INDUCE ACT.

        It's all a continued, concerted effort to emasculate the Sony/Betamax decision. Shameless.

        see the previous /. article [slashdot.org] and more here [slashdot.org].
      • Re:Premature? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ayaress (662020)
        This is pretty much what I thought when I read the article. The DMCA isn't shot down, in part or full, but at least one abuse of it has been hedged. Baby steps, I suppose...
  • w00t!

    Thank goodness, they chose not to stifle innovation, because the RIAA thinks their product desreves more money.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:10PM (#10504559) Journal
    The courts are finally catching on to the RIAA's game. People should start suing *them*.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by kfg (145172) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:39PM (#10504895)
      People should start suing *them*.

      Q: What do you need when you've just shot down part of the DMCA?

      A: More bullets

      KFG
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wanker (17907) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:49PM (#10504996)
      The courts are finally catching on to the RIAA's game. People should start suing *them*.

      At least one group already has (Webcaster Alliance), Findlaw has lots of good info on laws and cases, including a whole section on our good buddies, the RIAA:

      http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/lit/riaa/ [findlaw.com]

      I recall reading at one time about a group of lawyers who theorized that the mass lawsuits against large groups of people who were unlikely to be able to afford legal representation, while offering a "settlement" less that the likely costs of defense, amounted to extortion. I can't find any source for it now, though.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:10PM (#10504566)
    All the 'Nothing to see' messages had me thinking the RIAA had DMCA'd /.

    Thankfully, the Supreme Court is at least knocking down the RIAA. Maybe now they'll realize litigating teenagers is actually a money-losing endeavor.
    • by Eberlin (570874) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:21PM (#10504713) Homepage
      Never underestimate the power of fear. I'm not saying that it's good, but it has definitely been effective. The recording industry's relentless barrage of lawsuits (and settlements) have deterred a significant number of people from "stealing" music.

      Will it end piracy? Of course not. Are those p2p networks helping with album sales for obscure artists? Probably. Will it drive down the sales of the next pop artist's album? That's debatable. The thing is the RIAA is seeing less money and it's scared. In turn, they had to react the best way they knew how. "Trade songs online and we'll sue you."

      As scummy as we think they are, they'll find a way to exist. It's just unfortunate that the first reaction to adversity is to strike fear amongst the population.
      • by TrentTheWiseA (566201) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:40PM (#10504902)
        Except for the fact that according to all posted statistics, the RIAA companies are making MORE money per year since swapping became an issue. It's free advertisement for them and more profits in the end. But they still play it as they are losing money when last year they earned over $10 billion. Up from the year before even.
        • by Eberlin (570874) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:58PM (#10505160) Homepage
          From personal observation, it's standard procedure to portray yourself as the victim/underdog regardless of how much a dominant monopolistic arrogant bastard individual/organization/company/government you are.

          Thus they paint the picture of the starving artist whom we are defrauding. Nevermind the t-shirts and concert ticket sales where artists actually get most of their cut.

          Then they equate it to stealing which is easier to grasp than copyright infringement. After all, Joe Sixpack and his kids usually don't deal with copyrights much but they definitely have STUFF that can be stolen. They can relate and stealing is bad.

          I do believe the ultimate solution is more quality content. My latest purchase was Manson's "Lest We Forget" with the DVD (can't seem to play it in MDK 10CE, though so I'm not too thrilled). If I believe a band makes good music (and this is definitely personal preference), I'll spend money for their work. I'm also in favor of having bonus content -- videos, pictures, behind-the-scenes footage, etc.
      • by Cat_Byte (621676) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:58PM (#10505152) Journal
        Never underestimate the power of fear. I'm not saying that it's good, but it has definitely been effective.

        Worked like a charm on me. I was afraid to download music and I haven't thought of a single CD I want to buy since then. If I hear it on the radio I know they're going to play it every 15 minutes until I scream so I don't bother buying those.

      • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @02:05PM (#10505265) Homepage Journal
        The recording industry's relentless barrage of lawsuits (and settlements) have deterred a significant number of people from "stealing" music.

        Yes, but have they caused those people to start buying music? I'd say no, so the whole legal adventure is/was a waste of time.
    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:55PM (#10505095)
      Thankfully, the Supreme Court is at least knocking down the RIAA.

      No, they didn't.

      The Court simply declined to grant cert to the case and consider it. They have said multiple times that their refusal does not convey anything about the merits of the case:

      STATE OF MD. v. BALTIMORE RADIO SHOW , 338 U.S. 912 (1950) [findlaw.com]

      "Inasmuch, therefore, as all that a denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari means is that fewer than four members of the Court thought it should be granted, this Court has rigorously insisted that such a denial carries with it no implication whatever regarding the Court's views on the merits of a case which it has declined to review. The Court has said this again and again; again and again the admonition has to be repeated."

      Unless enough justices have a personal interest in the case, the Supreme Court rarely considers a case except to resolve conflicting decisions among the US Courts of Appeals.

      We need a way to moderate original postings "uninformed".

      • Unless enough justices have a personal interest in the case, the Supreme Court rarely considers a case except to resolve conflicting decisions among the US Courts of Appeals.

        All that the RIAA has to do now is get another US Court of Appeals to decide differently, and we're right back here again.

        Does anybody believe that this is beyond their abilities?

  • by SKPhoton (683703) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:11PM (#10504568) Homepage
    Perhaps, like all of us, the judges are getting tired of the RIAA's "tactics" and want it to shut up and stop whining.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:11PM (#10504571)
    Just read the summary again and you'll see this isn't that major of a victory for P2P fans... all the RIAA has to do is file a "John Doe" lawsuit, and then Verizon will have to turn over the info so that the user is identified and dropped into the defendant's chair.

    Sorry, this doesn't make P2P copyrighted music stealing legal...
    • Sorry, this doesn't make P2P copyrighted music stealing legal...

      Nor does it make trading music files online "stealing" no matter how much they want the world to believe that it is.
      • by mreed911 (794582) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:28PM (#10504775)
        Riiight... I don't sign a EULA or any such agreement when I purchase the CD, but that only means that I own the physical CD - not the copyright to the content that's ON the CD. Current copyright laws (other than DMCA) prevent me from selling COPIES of that CD, but I'm free to resell that CD to whomever wants to buy it.

        Thus, re-distributing the physical CD that you purchased as your property would be legal (though you would no longer own the right to digital reproductions you might have made as you no longer "own" the content), but re-distributing the protected works contained therein remains illegal.

        Not that that was the point of *this* case...
        • The people who most vehemently and aggressively support intellectual property rights are those who haven't had a single original thought in their lives. They're hoping to monopolize that one single moment of reverie when they finally achieve it.

          Those of us who make a living in intellectual property have learned to do it the right way: keep your mouth shut. If you don't want something to be redistributed, don't put it in an easily redistributable form!

          The other people (*AA) who are zealouts about IP ri
      • by feloneous cat (564318) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:30PM (#10504803)
        Nor does it make trading music files online "stealing" no matter how much they want the world to believe that it is.

        No, that is not what this sez. Not even vaguely. It is about whether you can go on a fishing expedition to find someone who MIGHT be stealing vs. KNOWING that someone is stealing. Altogether different.

        But, hey, what do I know. IANAL.
    • by julesh (229690) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:17PM (#10504656)
      Of course not. It _is_ however, a victory for those of us who believed that the RIAA's approach to the entire affair shouldn't be allowed. Essentially, a subpoena is a court document used to extract information. There should be judicial oversight to ensure that that process is not being abused. That's what this is about.
    • by gorbachev (512743) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:19PM (#10504682) Homepage
      At least it forces the RIAA Stormtroopers to follow due process. It's also going to cost them more than using mail merge to send out the DMCA notices.
    • by retto (668183) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:19PM (#10504683)

      this isn't that major of a victory for P2P fans

      However it is a major victory for due process. No corporation should be allowed to issue their own 'supoenas' to force a third-party to turn over personal information without proper judicial oversight. That part of the DMCA was WAY over the line.

    • by qbzzt (11136) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:27PM (#10504773)
      all the RIAA has to do is file a "John Doe" lawsuit

      It's the difference between junk mail and spam. Filing a law suit costs more time and money than putting a few details into a boiler-plate letter. Also, you can get in trouble for filing frivolous law suites, in a way you can't for sending silly letters.

      I'd say this is a victory. Not the victory in the war, but certainly one avenue of harrassment that's been closed to them.
    • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:31PM (#10504818) Journal
      Just read the summary again and you'll see this isn't that major of a victory for P2P fans... all the RIAA has to do is file a "John Doe" lawsuit, and then Verizon will have to turn over the info so that the user is identified and dropped into the defendant's chair.

      Sorry, this doesn't make P2P copyrighted music stealing legal...


      So? Swiping copyrighted music was *always* illegal. What's fantastic about this is that ISPs don't have to give up personal information to anyone who can make up a "Yeah, I own the copyright on something that this guy has" email. It means that only people concerned enough about something being stolen are going to get involved with requesting personal data. This means no more RIAA/MPAA mass-mailings generated by bots (well, unless they figure out how to have a bot produce lawsuits).

      There was a serious privacy issue, as demonstrated recently on Slashdot by people making up bogus copyright-claim letters and sending them out and getting personal data without the ISP even researching the problem (not that I think that the ISP should be expected to do research on the basis of a bogus email). If you're upset enough to want someone's personal data, you're upset enough to file a lawsuit.
    • by Ryan Amos (16972) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:42PM (#10504924)
      It doesn't make P2P copyrighted music stealing legal, but it's going to make it a lot harder to scare settlements out of people. Before, if they wanted to scare a file-swapper by litigation, all they had to do was subpoena the ISP, then send a nasty letter off to the user and wait for them to settle. Now they have to actually have lawyers file cases with the court before they can send out these subpoenas.

      There's a lot more paperwork (and legal fees) if you have to do everything inside the legal framework instead of being able to say "Pay us $5000 or we'll sue you and your lawyer's bills will be more than $5000." Now they can't use that tactic, and people are more likely to fight back and force a court battle over copyright laws (which the RIAA does not want, as they currently control the copyright situation in congress so any loss of this control to the courts is undesirable.)

      They are well aware that one of these cases making it to court could be more damaging than the alternative. It may not make downloading music legal, but this ruling does make it a lot harder for the RIAA to play the role of "enforcer." I'm sure they'll figure out something else, but I doubt they'll be sending out any more mass-subpoenas.
    • Just read the summary again and you'll see this isn't that major of a victory for P2P fans... all the RIAA has to do is file a "John Doe" lawsuit, and then Verizon will have to turn over the info so that the user is identified and dropped into the defendant's chair.

      The decision asserts that due process is still a requirement of the constitution and the Judicial branch.

      Who has ever implied it would render copyright infringement (not stealing, you can't steal something you bought, you can only infringe on
  • SCOTUS being... (Score:5, Informative)

    by embeejay (446541) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:12PM (#10504589)
    The Supreme Court of USA for those of you who (like me) didn't have a clue at first.
  • by spacerodent (790183) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:12PM (#10504591)
    its always refreshing to see judges making decisions based off law and not political interests
  • Shot down? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zombiestomper (228123) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:13PM (#10504601) Homepage Journal
    I don't think so.

    More like still up for debate. Unless I'm mistaken, status quo remains and this can continue to be repeatedly brought up until the issue finally does get ruled on by the court. Correct?
    • Re:Shot down? (Score:3, Informative)

      by atommoore (720369)
      It does mean that the circuit will continue to rule that way. Also, it means that other circuits, when faced with this issue, may find this case persuasive authority. Eventually there may be a circuit split, and the Supreme Court may choose to step in to resolve the disagreement. But for now, it is a victory within about 10% of the federal court system.
  • Not final yet. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:13PM (#10504602) Journal
    This isn't final unless/until all the remaining appellate districts rule in the same way. One district going the other way might bring it back to the supremes.

    If they'd heard it and decided against the RIAA, rather than just refusing to hear it, it would be final.
    • This isn't final unless/until all the remaining appellate districts rule in the same way. One district going the other way might bring it back to the supremes.

      If they'd heard it and decided against the RIAA, rather than just refusing to hear it, it would be final.


      Judges have a sort of gentlemens' agreement to honor each other's rulings. They don't have to. Another judge could certainly rule differently in a separate, yet related case. But as soon as one of the cases comes up, the lawyer should say,
  • by BobSutan (467781) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:13PM (#10504605)
    Chalk one up for the good guys. Good guys: 3 Bad greedy companies: 10,003
  • Almost there... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheUnFounded (731123) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:13PM (#10504611)
    Now if the RIAA is disallowed from using "John Doe" litigation, we can finally be (at least somewhat) proud of the justice system!
  • Shot down? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crankyspice (63953) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:14PM (#10504618)

    Wahoo! Part of DMCA shot down!

    Not really. What the RIAA was doing was never really in the DMCA, a fact noted by the D.C. Circuit when they overturned the District Court's decision on a pure statutory analysis. This leaves us where we started, minus only a dubious construction atop the DMCA, an RIAA gamble that didn't pan out.

    • Re:Shot down? (Score:3, Informative)

      by tabdelgawad (590061)
      Correct. To elaborate, the 'rubber-stamp' DMCA subpoena process still applies to copyright infringements hosted on the ISPs servers, but not to P2P content, which is hosted on the user's computer.
  • by demonbug (309515) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:15PM (#10504639) Journal
    I find your lack of respect disturbing, slashdotter... or should I say John Doe #1!?!
  • by crawdaddy (344241) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:15PM (#10504640)
    I thought it said SCROTUS at first! I wonder if they have any ties to the terrorist organization known as the CLIT.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...when activist judges use their positions to legislate from the bench and shoot down part of such a patriotic law like the DMCA.
  • by L3on (610722) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:17PM (#10504660) Homepage Journal
    The Digital Millenium Copywrite act can be viewed as unconstitutional. I'm glad the supreme court is finally taking the correct steps to defend the individual's liberties in this country instead of the usual practice of protecting large firms profits (merly because those firms have too much say in our government because of the money they put into it). Hopefully this will bring an end to frivilous lawsuits against people that are mere pawns in the scheme of warez and piracy. Personally, I would rather see the RIAA spend some of thier resources in ensuring better music is being produced instead of the formulized crap they are turning out currently.
  • by Tyfud (777617) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:18PM (#10504667)
    What does this mean for current lawsuits, and why does having john doe lawsuits make it better than if they knew your name? Who's fielding those lawsuits?
    • the point is how they get your name

      before they would just fire off a letter to the ISP who may or may not capitulate and send them your info

      not they have to file a lawsuit against John Doe @ 65.67.883.212, and get the name via a legal process which has oversight and protection for the accused.

      hope that helps

    • With a lawsuit filed, you can challenge the subpoena.

      Ok, it's like this. Verizon gets a subpoena for your IP as part of RIAA V. John Doe 1e+38. Verizon then informs you that they have a request to turn over the records. You can then hire an attorney to fight the subpoena, while your John Doe-ness is protected.

      The big benefit is judicial oversite into the activities of RIAA. If RIAA wants to run roughshod over you, they need to hire a local lawyer and file a lawsuit in the correct venue.

      Local ju
    • What does this mean for current lawsuits,

      Nothing.

      and why does having john doe lawsuits make it better than if they knew your name? Who's fielding those lawsuits?

      It means if some random company asks your ISP for your billing information, your ISP isn't required to give it to them. If the RIAA wants to sue you for copyright infringement, they must first file a lawsuit with a court, then the judge has to issue a subpoena which gets presented to the ISP, and THEN the ISP has to turn over your name/addres
  • human rights (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:22PM (#10504716) Homepage Journal
    America is now amassing a body of case law that protects our rights from attacks like the DMCA, and its INDUCEments to tyranny. But the pattern shows so far only that Verizon's corporate rights trump the RIAA's corporate privileges. We need some decisions that show that human rights to free expression and fair use of personal property trump corporate claims to profits. What's the EFF got up its sleeve? Or EPIC? The hoary old ACLU? Or maybe Jon Johnassen will free us all [theregister.co.uk]?
    • Fair use rights (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:52PM (#10505053) Journal
      Seriously, I'd love to see some drastic changes made to strengthen fair use.

      First, copyright shouldn't last nearly as long as it does -- it goes well beyond the Consititutional mandate. Furthermore, copyright should not depend on the date the author dies -- why should the work of the author last longer because an author happens to be healthier than another? Why should the willingness of a publisher to fund an artist depend on whether they have leukemia or not? Have a fixed number of years (I'd like to see the 14 plus an additional 14 if the holder chooses to renew the copyright -- the copyright term shouldn't exceed fifty years, at the longest. Let copyright serve its goal of being an incentive to authors to create work so that they can make money.)

      Second of all, I want to see fair use vastly strengthened. The main thing I'd like to see allowed -- the use of characters and settings in derivative works. I think that use of characters and settings from a work should be *always* allowed (obviously, aside from old grandfathered-in works) in new works. This would supersede trademark protection (i.e. if you don't want someone to be able to use your trademark, don't trademark a character). If taking advantage of this fair use exemption, one would be responsible for ensuring that one's derivative works cannot be confused with the original work, and would be liable (much in the same manner that we are currently liable for trademark infringement) for making a derivative work that can be confused with the original. Why do I want to see this? I want to see fan fictions and alternate series plot branches made legal. Currently, fan fictions aren't legal. Companies often turn a blind eye and simply choose not to exercise their protections, but every fanfic author must live constantly in the knowledge that he could be nailed by a copyright-holding company if that company feels like applying legal pressure at some point. I don't think that discouraging the production of fanfics helps society at all. Also, there are times when I read a book series that I like -- but I dislike a particular event that happens, and wish that the plot had gone in another direction. For example, what if Jar Jar had been killed off early on in Star Wars Episode 1? (Though this is more useful for books -- creating alternate movies is hard because of the expense involved.) I want to see someone be able to say "That sucked. Here's *my* interpretation on how things should have gone!" That's also illegal -- but if characters and settings could be used in derivative works (as long as those derivative works are clearly marked as "unofficial") I think we'd see a lot more by way of interesting ideas.
  • by shaneFalco (821467) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:31PM (#10504816)
    Unless I'm mistaken, status quo remains and this can continue to be repeatedly brought up until the issue finally does get ruled on by the court. Correct?

    Not nessasarily. Usually once the Court refuses to hear something the lower courts will honor that position as law. This is what is called a Stare Decisis ruling. Now this ruling is now only pertinent to the district court in which it occured. Other juristicions will usually look to a juristiction that has already ruled on a similar case before issuing its ruling. (The fact the Court has stare decisised this one is gonna do wonders to advance this on other juristictions as well.

    The RIAA could theoretically file again in another juristiction, but may be denied by the Court on grounds that there is a SCOTUS ruling in place on the matter (stare decisis does not carry the same weight as a Court ruling). For examples sake, the Pro-life crowd is reluctant to challenge Roe v. Wade until the Court is firmly in conservative hands. If you have a case before the SCOTUS you usually can not be heard again for decades (seperate but equal 1890's; brown v. board 1954... long ass time). So in short.... the RIAA is effectively REAMED.

    I always knew mixing political science and computers could be fun :)

    • Usually once the Court refuses to hear something the lower courts will honor that position as law. This is what is called a Stare Decisis ruling.

      There is no such thing as a stare decisis ruling. Stare decisis is merely "the doctrine that, when a court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain set of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to future cases where the facts are substantially the same." Here, the Supreme Court did not lay down any principle of law.

      (The fac

    • by sampson7 (536545) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @02:43PM (#10505711)
      Sooooo close. But wrong. Seriously wrong.

      Stare decisis (actually, the full latin phrase is "stare decisis et quieta non movere" meaning "to stand by things decided and not disturb settled points") only applies to actual court decisions -- the decision of the Supreme Court not to hear the case does not mean that the issue is decided. It simply means that the Supreme Court didn't want to hear this case at this time. While people often analogize this to mean that the Supreme Court is leaning one way or the other, that's just a guess. It can mean any number of different things and predicting Supreme Court vote counts is always a risky business.

      In the meantime, the fact that the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case means that the DC Circuit court case stands. It would constitute binding precedent (meaning stare decisis would apply) within the DC Circuit. However, it would only be persuasive authority in other circuits. (Here's a quick run down on the different circuits: http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html [uscourts.gov]. Even though the DC Circuit is tiny -- it is given jurisdiction over many of the most important cases and is considered (by some) to be the most influential of the Circuits.)

      But. And here's the kicker -- the disappointed litigant (in this case the RIAA) now will travel throughout the country and raise this same issue in other circuits, hoping to find a panel of judges (these things are heard by 3-judge panels at the first appeal level) that will disagree with the reasoning of the DC Circuit. Then they will likely appeal to the Supreme Court again. A split between the circuits (ie., two circuits saying the law means two different things) is the surest way to get the Supreme Court to review your case. While still not a guarantee, it's likely the Supreme Court will revisit this issue once the RIAA finds a sympathetic circuit to agree with it.

      Again, the parent didn't do a bad job explaining, just not entirely accurate. With due respect, the difference between binding precedent and persuasive authority is a subtle, but huge, point. Stare decisis applies to binding precedent, not persuasive precedent.
  • by to_kallon (778547) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:35PM (#10504850)
    why the police are not allowed to get an arrest warrant for someone based on their dna, especially pertinent in rape cases, but the riaa can get your first born based on an ip address? something seems a bit skewed to me....
    am i the only one?

  • by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:42PM (#10504921)
    There'll be dancing, Dancing in the streets...
  • by eric76 (679787) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:53PM (#10505070)
    It just shot down the RIAA's interpretation of that portion of the DMCA.

    The DMCA quite clearly states that the ISP is neither responsible nor liable for material stored on customer computers over which they exercise no control.

    In other words, they are upholding what the DMCA says, not how the RIAA wants to interpret that section.
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:58PM (#10505155)
    This should've been caught much much sooner.

    In the meantime, another ridiculous bill will be proposed and approved that will allow organizations such as the RIAA/MPAA to bully consumers around in a different manner while the bill itself takes years to travel to the right courts to be struck down... only to have the whole process repeat.

    A victory would be changing the system so that the very threats to personal privacy (like this) are moved to the VERY FRONT of the queue and are taken care of immediately instead of years after the fact.

    What about those who have already been bulled by the RIAA's tactics that were just struck down? Do they get any kind of compensation?
  • by ChiralSoftware (743411) <info@chiralsoftware.net> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @02:29PM (#10505563) Homepage
    This does not mean that part of the DMCA is shot down, and it is not set in stone. Those provisions of the DMCA are alive and well. It only means that within one particular federal circuit those parts of the DMCA are shot down. Great, let's try another circuit. Federal circuits can and sometimes do disagree with eachother. The time when SCOTUS steps in is when there is a serious disagreement among the federal courts, usually over a constitutional issue, and SCOTUS must resolve it.

    So let's not celebrate yet. For these things to be truly dead and gone, it must be either a Supreme Court ruling, or it must be done legislatively. Let's hope that our legislature will take some steps to reset the balance between protecting creative authors and protecting the free flow of information. Disney wouldn't be where it is today without the public domain (expired copyright) contributions of the Brothers Grim and many others. This means vote! [badnarik.org]

    • Disney wouldn't be where it is today without the public domain (expired copyright) contributions of the Brothers Grim and many others.

      In some cases, not even expired copyright. For Rite of Spring in Fantasia, the composer (don't ask me to spell that name properly) didn't like Disney's offer. Disney then discovered that the copyright was not valid in the United States (so much for respecting rights of other countries and composers) and went ahead anyway. I wonder to this day if Fantasia can legally be s

  • Not really. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by endersdouble (719120) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @03:27PM (#10506189)
    It's true that this strengthens the decision, but does not "set it in stone." Had they granted certiorari, then ruled in Verizon's favor, that would do so--it is VERY difficult to overturn set precedent, one reason why, for example, the NRA hasn't tried very many second amendment court challenges against gun control--should the SCOTUS rule against them, they would find themselves in a *very* bad position. So: Good, but not as good as it could have been.

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