I know downloading music is illegal and that it is wrong but the fact the RIAA is going crazy sueing everyone made me wish a big company that actually has the money to fight back would SUE them and show them how it feels.
SBC is sueing RIAA!! HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pacific Bell Internet Services jumped into the contentious music-downloading fray late Wednesday, filing a lawsuit against the recording industry and questioning the constitutionality of the industry's effort to track down online music sharers.
In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Internet service provider PBIS, operated by San Antonio-based SBC, alleges that many of the subpoenas served against it by the Recording Industry Association of America were done so improperly.
The suit also called to question some sections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the federal law the RIAA contends supports its latest legal actions. A spokesman for SBC said the RIAA's use of the DMCA in its legal quest for online song-sharers butts up against the privacy rights of SBC's customers.
"The action taken by SBC Internet Services is intended to protect the privacy of our customers," said SBC spokesman Larry Meyer. "Misapplication of DMCA subpoena power raises serious constitutional questions that need to be decided by the courts, not by private companies which operate without duty of due diligence or judicial oversight."
The suit also named two other companies, Mediasentry Inc. and IO Group Inc., as defendants. Mediasentry does business as MediaForce, a Georgia-based corporation which offers services to copyright holders to detect unauthorized uses of music, software and other content on the Internet.
IO Group does business as Titan Media, a San Francisco-based purveyor of ###########. Titan served a subpoena on SBC's San Antonio offices, but later withdrew it when PBIS said it would challenge it.
PBIS claims that more than 200 subpoenas seeking file-sharers' e-mail addresses were issued from the wrong court of jurisdiction. Moreover, PBIS said the recording industry's demand for information on multiple file-sharers cannot be grouped under one subpoena, and that the demands themselves are overly broad.
In the complaint, PBIS maintains it only acts as a "passive conduit" for the activity of its subscribers and "does not initiate or direct the transmission of those files and has no control over their content or destination."
The recording industry disagreed late Wednesday, in statement given to The Associated Press.
"We are disappointed that Pac Bell has chosen to fight this, unlike every other ISP which has complied with their obligations under the law. We had previously reached out to SBC to discuss this matter but had been rebuked," the statement read.
"This procedural gamesmanship will not ultimately change the underlying fact that when individuals engage in copyright infringement on the Internet, they are not anonymous and service providers must reveal who they are," the RIAA said.
San Francisco-based PBIS is seeking a declaration that the subpoenas are overly broad in scope and should have been issued from a California
district court, not the District of Columbia. The complaint also seeks a jury trial.
The recording industry has won at least 871 federal subpoenas against computer users suspected of illegal sharing music files on the Internet. The RIAA is trying to compel some of the largest Internet providers, such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Cable Communications Inc., to identify names and mailing addresses for users on their networks.
The RIAA said it expects to file at several hundred lawsuits seeking financial damages within the next eight weeks.
Verizon has challenged the constitutionality of such copyright subpoenas. Arguments in the appeals court are set for Sept. 16.
SBC is the leading DSL Internet access provider in the U.S., with 2.8 million subscribers in 13 states.
The case is Pacific Bell Internet Services vs. RIAA, C033560.