RIAA Wins Court Case Against College Student
October 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM (PT)
The RIAA has won its second court battle in a row, this time in the hotly contested battleground of college campuses.
In AUGUST, a UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE student (legal ID: "DOE. No. 28") tried to quash a RIAA subpoena because the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) bars the release of his name, addresses, and phone numbers without consent to outside parties. However, U.S. Magistrate Judge H. BRUCE GUYTON denied the motion.
According to the ARS TECHNICA website report, counsel for DOE 28 argued that the RIAA's request was "unreasonable on its face" and since he didn't waive his right to privacy under FERPA, the RIAA subpoena should be squashed. While the privacy law bars the release of educational records without the consent of the students or parents, "directory information," such as the student's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, can be released without permission. Because of that, the Judge ruled in favor of the RIAA.
If that wasn't bad enough for the implicated student, the Judge also ordered that the University must provide the RIAA with the student's MAC address because it doesn't qualify as an "educational record" under FERPA. A computer MAC address was instrumental in the RIAA's victorious case against JAMMIE THOMAS.
DOE No. 28 is the only one of DOES 1-33 to publicly contest the RIAA threat. According to KNOXNEWS.COM, all but one of the other 32 defendants have been dropped from the case, which usually means that the others have already settled with the RIAA ... and are a few thousand dollars poorer.