Legal

RIAA subpoenas US locker for user identities

By | Published on Monday 23 May 2011

Box.net

A California-based online storage company called Box.net has received a subpoena from the Recording Industry Association Of America which is trying to identify a small group of people who, the trade body claims, are using the file-storage-and-transfer platform to share large amounts of unlicensed music.

According to reports, Box.net has complied with the court order. It remains to be seen what the RIAA now plans to do with that information, though presumably it is considering taking legal action against the individuals sharing music files without a licence via Box.net’s technology.

Whether the labels would consider any action against Box.net itself remains to be seen. Although the service can be used to store and share music files, it is not specifically marketed for that use, unlike the digital lockers recently launched by Amazon and Google, and therefore even the labels are unlikely to suggest the company should be seeking content licences.

However, the labels may say that Box.net should be doing more to stop its service from being used for copyright infringement, and any failure to do so would constitute contributory infringement on the tech firm’s part – an argument already used against European file-distribution network RapidShare.

Though with US copyright law providing more protection for tech companies than in Europe, and them having complied with this subpoena seemingly with little argument, any legal case against Box.net itself would probably be weak.



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