The Supreme Court on Tuesday sidestepped a dispute about whether Internet providers can be forced to identify subscribers illegally swapping music and movies online.
[…] Lawyers for Verizon Communications Inc., which tried to keep private names and addresses of subscribers, disputed that that the industry has been deterred in going after people who trade copyrighted works by computer.
More than 3,000 alleged infringers have been sued since the appeals court’s decision 10 months ago, Verizon lawyer John Thorne said. Those civil suits identify defendants as “John Doe,” then seek court permission to get their names.
He warned justices that courts could be swamped with tens of thousands of disputed subpoena enforcement proceedings if it sided with the recording industry.