Strike 2 for the RIAA
A Massachusetts court has blocked several recording industry subpoenas that are aimed at college song swappers, saying the universities involved are not immediately required to divulge the alleged file traders' identities.This is only the beginning of the RIAA's procedural headaches. The next step will be for individuals to challenge the subpoenas on substantive grounds, primarily on the question of the ownership of the files on their hard drives and on the ability of the RIAA to substantiate its claims of copyright ownership of some or all of the material in the shared folders.
The decision comes after officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston College challenged subpoenas from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), saying the trade group's requests for information had not been legally filed.
link et seq. cnet
Strategically this is a significant setback for the RIAA's campaign of litigation in terrorum.
"I hope this will give other people hope," said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that has emerged as the chief critic of the recording industry's tactics. "It will be a lot easier for people to address problems in the RIAA subpoenas if they don't have to go to D.C. to do it."What initially looked like an unstoppable force is now being revealed as an ill thought out campaign of intimidation. I suspect the RIAA will let the entire thing quietly drop if it loses in California in the SBC case which seeks to impose costs on the RIAA.