(1) the term “consumer” means any renter, purchaser, or subscriber of goods or services from a video tape service provider;
(2) the term “ordinary course of business” means only debt collection activities, order fulfillment, request processing, and the transfer of ownership;
(3) the term “personally identifiable information” includes information which identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific video materials or services from a video tape service provider; and
(4) the term “video tape service provider” means any person, engaged in the business, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of rental, sale, or delivery of prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials, or any person or other entity to whom a disclosure is made under subparagraph (D) or (E) of subsection (b)(2), but only with respect to the information contained in the disclosure.
(2) A video tape service provider may disclose personally identifiable information concerning any consumer—
(A) to the consumer;
(B) to any person with the informed, written consent of the consumer given at the time the disclosure is sought;
(C) to a law enforcement agency pursuant to a warrant issued under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, an equivalent State warrant, a grand jury subpoena, or a court order;
(D) to any person if the disclosure is solely of the names and addresses of consumers and if—
(i) the video tape service provider has provided the consumer with the opportunity, in a clear and conspicuous manner, to prohibit such disclosure; and
(ii) the disclosure does not identify the title, description, or subject matter of any video tapes or other audio visual material; however, the subject matter of such materials may be disclosed if the disclosure is for the exclusive use of marketing goods and services directly to the consumer;
(E) to any person if the disclosure is incident to the ordinary course of business of the video tape service provider; or
(F) pursuant to a court order, in a civil proceeding upon a showing of compelling need for the information that cannot be accommodated by any other means, if—
(i) the consumer is given reasonable notice, by the person seeking the disclosure, of the court proceeding relevant to the issuance of the court order; and
(ii) the consumer is afforded the opportunity to appear and contest the claim of the person seeking the disclosure.
If an order is granted pursuant to subparagraph (C) or (F), the court shall impose appropriate safeguards against unauthorized disclosure.
(3) Court orders authorizing disclosure under subparagraph (C) shall issue only with prior notice to the consumer and only if the law enforcement agency shows that there is probable cause to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry. In the case of a State government authority, such a court order shall not issue if prohibited by the law of such State. A court issuing an order pursuant to this section, on a motion made promptly by the video tape service provider, may quash or modify such order if the information or records requested are unreasonably voluminous in nature or if compliance with such order otherwise would cause an unreasonable burden on such provider.
(2) The court may award—
(A) actual damages but not less than liquidated damages in an amount of $2,500;
(B) punitive damages;
(C) reasonable attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and
(D) such other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.
(3) No action may be brought under this subsection unless such action is begun within 2 years from the date of the act complained of or the date of discovery.
(4) No liability shall result from lawful disclosure permitted by this section.
(Added Pub. L. 100–618, §2(a)(2), Nov. 5, 1988, 102 Stat. 3195.)
The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(C), are set out in the Appendix to this title.
A prior section 2710 was renumbered section 2711 of this title.