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La Societe Metro Cash & Carry France v. Time Warner Cable

A French company obtained an order requiring Time Warner to identify one of its cable subscribers who had used its services to send an email accusing the plaintiff of improper business practices. The subscriber invoked her rights under 47 U.S.C. § 551, which forbids cable companies from identifying subscribers without notice and a court order, and objected to disclosure without an order from a United States court. The French company then filed a bill of discovery seeking the same information in Connecticut state court. The subscriber invoked by analogy the rulings of various state and federal courts in Internet cases, requiring that the right to obtain a remedy for defamation be balanced against the First Amendment right to anonymity. The court declined to follow the French court's order, applied a balancing test and found probably cause to believe that plaintiff had suffered damages as a result of tortious conduct by the Doe, and the requested discovery was granted.

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