The Supreme Court declined to examine a lower-court ruling that forces music industry investigators to sue to uncover the identities of people who may be copying their songs online.
Verizon Communications Inc. had argued that it shouldn't be required to turn over customer names whenever it received a notice from the Recording Industry Assn. of America. The Internet provider said the RIAA would have to file a formal lawsuit to get the names of suspected song swappers.
A U.S. appeals court in December 2003 agreed with Verizon and ruled that the RIAA would have to file anonymous "John Doe" suits to get customer names. The high court rejected the appeal by the RIAA without comment.