By: BridgeTower Media Newswires//April 30, 2010
By: BridgeTower Media Newswires//April 30, 2010//
The First Amendment does not protect the anonymity of a defendant who allegedly illegally downloaded copyrighted music, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled.
The plaintiffs are recording companies who allege that the defendant illegally downloaded music recordings through an online file-sharing network.
The plaintiffs sought authorization to serve a subpoena on the defendant’s Internet Service Provider to obtain information that would disclose his identity.
The defendant objected, but a U.S. district court denied his attempt to quash the subpoena.
He appealed, arguing that he was entitled to anonymity.
The Second Circuit disagreed.
“The fundamental copyright principles are clear. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to … reproduce, perform publicly, display publicly, prepare derivative works of, and distribute copies of, his copyrighted work. …The First Amendment does not … provide a license for copyright infringement. … [T]o the extent that anonymity is used to mask copyright infringement or to facilitate such infringement by other persons, it is unprotected by the First Amendment,” the court said.
It noted similar a ruling from the Fifth Circuit.
Arista Records v. Doe, no. 09-0905-cv. April 29.