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The Courts

Judge Excludes 3 "John Does" From RIAA Subpoena 225

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In one of the RIAA's 'John Doe' cases targeting Boston University students, after the University wrote to the Court saying that it could not identify three of the John Does 'to a reasonable degree of technical certainty,' Judge Nancy Gertner deemed the University's letter a 'motion to quash,' and granted it, quashing the subpoena as to those defendants. In the very brief docket entry (PDF) containing her decision, she noted that 'compliance with the subpoena as to the IP addresses represented by these Defendants would expose innocent parties to intrusive discovery.' There is an important lesson to be learned from this ruling: if the IT departments of the colleges and universities targeted by the RIAA would be honest, and explain to the Courts the problems with the identification and other technical issues, there is a good chance the subpoenas will be vacated. Certainly, there is now a judicial precedent for that principle. One commentator asks whether this holding 'represents the death knell to some, if not all, of the RIAA's efforts to use American university staff as copyright cops.'"

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