– A federal appeals court has validated the legal strategy employed by the
recording industry against suspected file-swappers, where record labels filed
thousands of "John Doe" lawsuits to obtain their identities via
Internet service providers, Wired.com reported.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled Thursday against a student at the State University of New York at
Albany, who was
suspected of illegal file-sharing, and sued to block a federal court’s order
that the university disclose his identity to the Recording Industry Association
of America (RIAA).
"To 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 wrote in its ruling.
further stated that copyright holders are obliged to learn the identity of a
suspected file-swapper even if he or she contends making "fair use"
of the content in question.
The RIAA announced in December 2008 that it would end its litigation campaign against individual file-swappers using the "John Doe" filing strategy, after suing some 35,000 consumers.