Cable Operators

RIAA Seeks Rehearing of Charter Case

2/23/2005 8:52 AM Eastern

The Recording Industry Association of America has asked a federal court to rehear a music file-swapping case won by Charter Communications Inc. in January.

The RIAA last Friday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to convene a three-judge panel or a broader selection of judges from the court to reconsider the decision, according to a source familiar with the litigation.

In the decision, the court ruled that Charter had been served with illegal subpoenas as part of an effort by the music industry to obtain the names of high-speed-data subscribers suspected of illegally swapping songs over the Internet.

Charter was forced to surrender the names of more than 200 subscribers after the RIAA obtained subpoenas from a district court clerk pursuant to a provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The court held that Charter was not required by terms of the DMCA to comply with the subpoenas because the cable company was a disinterested conduit that file swappers may have utilized to exchange copyrighted material.

March