PC World reports on a court case in New York concerning telecommunications provider Verizon and a book publisher. The publisher is seeking the personal data of 10 of Verizon’s customers, and the company is refusing. PC World reports:
Verizon is fighting a move by a book publisher to obtain personal information on ten of its customers accused of illegally sharing electronic copies of books in the popular “Dummy” self-help series.
Among the reasons Verizon cites for refusing to comply with the subpoena served on the telco by attorneys for John Wiley & Sons is that the requested information is “protected from disclosure by third parties’ rights of privacy and protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.” […]
New York Federal District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest is expected to hear arguments on Verizon’s actions on a conference call scheduled for Monday, May 14, at 2:30 p.m. ET.
In its subpoena, Wiley seeks the personal information of Verizon subscribers whose IP addresses have been linked to illegal downloads from BitTorrent file-sharing sites. Wiley’s action appears to be the first time that a bookseller has gone after online book thieves in court.
Typically, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) roll over when lawyers appear on their transoms with court orders for subscriber information on alleged pirates, but Verizon may be showing some initiative and taking advantage of recent judicial decisions casting doubt on the use of IP addresses to nail online buccaneers.