HUNTINGTON - Seven Marshall University students who allegedly downloaded music illegally must be identified, a federal judge recently told the school.
U.S. Magistrate Maurice G. Taylor refused to void a subpoena obtained by the music industry that seeks the students' names. The university has 30 days to comply after an amended subpoena is filed.
Marshall argued the subpoena was too broad and placed an undue burned on the school's limited resources. According to court filings, Marshall estimates it will cost $337.50 to investigate each of the seven Internet protocol addresses where the music was allegedly downloaded.
Marshall also said the students privacy would be invaded if they were identifies, though the music industry said the companies only want information that Marshall already acknowledged having.
The two sides have been arguing since Marshall received the subpoena in February.
The music industry has sued more than 30,000 people for illegal downloading, including many college students who used university Internet services.
A total of 27 Marshall students were targeted by the music industry. Many of the cases have been settled by the defendants agreeing to pay record companies thousands of dollars apiece.
A federal judge granted the previous subpoena in spring 2007. It, together with the university's cooperation, resulted in 12 people being identified. That led to at least two lawsuits being filed against people living in southern West Virginia.
A judge forced one of the two defendants, Tristan Hicks of Gallagher, W.Va., to pay $6,000 in damages for downloading eight songs at a penalty of $750 per recording. The court also ordered Hicks to pay $420 in court costs, according to court documents.