RIAA Uses DMCA Subpoena To Crack Down On Discord Hackers *TorrentFreak
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The RIAA has obtained a subpoena in federal court in Colombia that forces Discord to identify people who have shared pirated content on the platform. Although this is an isolated request, it is possible that the music group will use this legal tool to identify other alleged copyright infringers in the future.
The fight against online piracy is a complicated undertaking that often begins with identifying the operators of infringing sites and services. This is also where the first hurdles come into play.
Most hackers continue to hide their identities. This applies to site and service operators and their users.
This relative anonymity is a nuisance for anti-piracy groups, including the RIAA. While most online services refuse to hand over user details voluntarily, there are legal tools that can help rightsholders move forward.
In recent years, DMCA subpoenas have proven particularly useful. These requests require no oversight from a judge and are usually approved by a court clerk, in order to quickly identify online hackers.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment regularly uses these subpoenas to get more details about domain name owners and Cloudflare users, for example, but they can also be used against other online services.
RIAA Targets Discord Hackers
This week, we spotted a subpoena request from the RIAA, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, asking for the personal details of alleged Discord hackers.
The legal documents reveal that the RIAA sent a takedown notice to Discord, asking it to remove several infringing files from its services. They included copies of tracks from Luther Vandross and The Stone Temple Pilots.
The RIAA also asked Discord to consider the “widespread and repeated violating nature of the server operator” and take appropriate action under its repeat offender policy.
As of this writing, the channel appears to have disappeared completely, but it’s unclear whether Discord has intervened or its operator has taken any action. What we do know is that the RIAA doesn’t let the suspected hacker(s) off that easily.
Potential legal issue
Through the DMCA subpoena, which was quickly signed by a court clerk, the anti-piracy group hopes to identify the offenders. It’s unclear what the RIAA plans to do with the information, but the channel’s operator could in theory face legal issues.
With the subpoena in hand, the RIAA contacted Discord, asking it to share relevant personal information.
“We have determined that users of your system or network have infringed the copyrighted sound recordings of our member record labels. As stated in the attached subpoena, you are required to disclose sufficient information to the RIAA to identify the offenders.
“This would include names, physical addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, payment information, account updates, and account history, as available,” the RIAA adds.
It’s unclear if Discord actually has all of the requested information on file. That said, the RIAA’s efforts make it clear that Discord and similar services should not be viewed as havens for hackers.
A copy of the RIAA’s request for a DMCA subpoena to compel Discord to release information is available here (pdf)