DOJ backs RIAA fight

Gov't sez ISPs should rat out wrongdoing Netizens

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is backing the record industry’s fight to force Verizon and other Internet service providers to hand over the names of customers file-swapping pirated music.

In court docs filed Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Justice said the Recording Industry Assn. of America is being reasonable in its request. Specifically, the RIAA wants Verizon to identify any Internet subscriber who offers to swap more than 600 pirated music titles.

“The government’s filing today supports the proposition that we have long advocated — copyright owners’ have a clear and unambiguous entitlement to determine who is infringing their copyrights online, and the entitlement is constitutional. Verizon’s persistent efforts to protect copyright thieves on pirate peer-to-peer networks will not succeed,” RIAA senior veep for business and legal affairs Matthew Oppenheim said.

Verizon argues that the RIAA request would violate an Internet subscriber’s First Amendment rights.

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