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IPFS News Link • Free Speech

Victory! Court Rules That DMCA Does Not Override First Amendment's Anonymous Speech Protections

• https://www.activistpost.com by Aaron Mackey

The decision by a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California confirms that copyright holders issuing subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act must still meet the Constitution's test before identifying anonymous speakers.

The case is an effort to unmask an anonymous Twitter user (@CallMeMoneyBags) who posted photos and content that implied a private equity billionaire named Brian Sheth was romantically involved with the woman who appeared in the photographs. Bayside Advisory LLC holds the copyright on those images, and used the DMCA to demand that Twitter take down the photos, which it did.

Bayside also sent Twitter a DMCA subpoena to identify the user. Twitter refused and asked a federal magistrate judge to quash Bayside's subpoena. The magistrate ruled late last year that Twitter must disclose the identity of the user because the user failed to show up in court to argue that they were engaged in fair use when they tweeted Bayside's photos.