RIAA v. Verizon Case Archive

Case history:
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), using a controversial subpoena provision introduced by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), demanded that Verizon Internet Services reveal the identity of a Verizon subscriber who allegedly used KaZaA peer-to-peer software to share music online. Verizon refused to divulge the subscriber's identity, claiming that the provision didn't cover alleged copyright-infringing material that resides on individuals' own computers, only material that resides on an ISP's own computer.

Overruling the D.C. District Court, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Verizon. In January 2003 Judge Bates had rejected Verizon's interpretation of the DMCA subpoena provision, ordering disclosure of the subscriber's identity. The decision was appealed, and in the intervening time Verizon sought to quash a second subpoena. In December 2003, the D.C. Circuit found the subpoenas were not authorized by the DMCA. The Appeals Court granted Verizon's order to quash the second subpoena and vacated the order enforcing the first.

Supreme Court


Second Subpoena

Stay Motion

First Subpoena

Other Documents

Media Releases