The Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit Thursday against two unnamed Brown network users for sharing copyrighted music over the Internet.
A court order issued Thursday by the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island grants the RIAA authority to issue a subpoena asking Brown for the identities of the two users based on their IP addresses. According to court documents, the case will be heard by U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi.
Although University spokesman Mark Nickel said in a Wednesday press release that Brown will fully comply with a subpoena if it is issued, the University is free to contest any subpoena before the judge.
Jonathan Lamy, director of communications for the RIAA, said that in previous lawsuits, universities have generally been cooperative in providing this information, which the court order indicates could include the network users' names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Once a subpoena is sent to the University asking for the names of the network users in question - and if the University chooses to provide this information - the RIAA will encourage the University to inform these individuals that their names have been released, Lamy said.
The two Brown network users are among 477 individuals sued by the RIAA, including 69 file-sharers at 14 universities nationwide. The lawsuits were filed against "John Doe" defendants identified only by their Internet protocol addresses and the names of the songs they were sharing.
Lamy said the lawsuit only involves individuals who have uploaded copyrighted songs - students who have only downloaded music are not being sued.