Wednesday, October 24, 2007

University of Tennessee Student's Motion to Quash Denied

Knoxville News Sentinel reports:

The motion by a University of Tennessee student to quash the subpoena served at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been denied, in Virgin v. Does 1-33.

Order denying motion to quash subpoena
(Alternate link)*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

Knoxville News Sentinel

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Unknown said...

After reading the ruling, it sounds to me like the student's and their lawyers didn't do their homework on their motion well enough. I hope the students who follow in their footsteps have better success.

I'm not sure I agree with the judge's logic about the MAC address. The FERPA guidelines seemed to state that anything not explicitly defined as directory information fell under the category of educational information. Thus, the judge's reasoning for allowing the MAC address(s) to be turned over struck me as contradictory to his previous explanations of the FERPA wording. I got the impression that he wasn't very please with the defendants either due to their motion's lack of quality or that they had the audacity to make it in the first place.

Anyone know if the defendant(s) will have another opportunity to prevent the university (acting as an ISP) from turning over the identifying information?

Marc W. Bourgeois said...

Seems that the primary point in this motion was that plaintiffs only needed a subset of the information they requested, and the reasoning behind that being FERPA. I saw nothing in the motion in regards to the actual content of the complaint or the other issues usually brought up in cases where these complaints are contested. Given the limited scope of what the motion was trying to bring to light, I'm not particularly surprised that it was denied.

raybeckerman said...

Dear matthew and marc,

I am in complete agreement that there is much which could have been done, that was not done, by the defendant's attorney, so that the judge did not get to consider the issues which should have been raised.

I am sure the RIAA will try to make hay out of this.

And I am sure that the attorneys who read this blog regularly will be in a good position to explain to the judges in their cases the limited significance of the Virgin v. Does decision due to the limited briefing that was done.

Anonymous said...

I work for a university and any information which can be tied back to the identity of a student is considered to fall under FERPA, as has been explained to us. The RIAA is requesting the MAC address so they can further identify the student. HELLO.

But I’m not really surprised to see a Tennessee Judge take the RIAA side of things unless you can show them where a Higher Court says they can’t and even then I would not be surprised to see them look for every loop hole they can.