- Jonathan Zittrain, an associate professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School, said the dismissal shows that the record companies may find it tough to prevail if their lawsuits go to court. Their legal strategy assumes that most defendants will settle rather than fight, and the lawsuits are so damaging to their public image that they cannot afford protracted legal battles with alleged file-swappers, he added.
''This is a very high-stakes strategy for the record companies,'' he said. ''It's either going to work in the short term, or they're going to have to pull the plug on it.''
- An official of Mrs. Ward's Internet service provider, Comcast, said that the company had investigated the case and that it gave the right name associated with the Internet identifier, known as an I.P. number, that the industry lawyers demanded. But like many service providers, Comcast issues its I.P. numbers "dynamically," with the numbers shifting each time a user goes online. Both Comcast and the recording industry group say they can accurately trace the I.P. number back to a single user; nonetheless, identifying a particular user can be tricky.