Court Upholds State Law on Piracy; the Law Doesn't Infringe on Freedom of Speech, the State Supreme Court Ruled

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Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE

The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a state anti-piracy law that requires Georgians to put their name and address on every CD or video copy they transfer.

The state's high court ruled Wednesday in the case of an Athens man indicted for being caught with dozens of allegedly pirated CDs.

Police arrested Thurman Briggs two years ago and found that the discs were unauthorized copies. He is being tried under a state law that makes it a crime to have or distribute sounds or images in violation of certain copyright protections.

In his appeal to Georgia's highest court, Briggs argued that the law was written too vaguely to apply to his situation and should be pre-empted by federal copyright laws.

His lawyers also tried to argue that the state measure infringed on free-speech rights because it requires people to print their name and addresses on the packaging of every CD or film they copy.

In a 5-2 decision, the justices disagreed with Briggs' points and ruled that the law applied, paving the way for his trial. …